Poverty panel hosted by Neal Conan at the Fox Theater tomorrow


Povertypanel Posted by Carolyn Sugiyama Classen

 From Community Foundation of Southern Arizona:

“Tucson’s poverty rates remained among the nation’s highest last year, with one in five living below the poverty threshold. Although Pima County’s poverty rate held steady in 2012 at 20 percent, the poverty rate among children was 29 percent. Many elderly, veterans, and single mothers in Pima County are struggling each and every day to survive; even while working one, two, sometimes three jobs. They just might be your neighbor, or a family member. How does one become part of the ‘working poor’? Who is doing what to help? Is it working? How does one escape poverty? Talking won’t solve the problem but perhaps by bringing people and ideas together we can move the needle towards sustained, positive change.

Neal Conan, award-winning journalist, producer, and former host of NPR’s Talk of the Nation will moderate the first Community Interactive: POVERTY :The Working Poor. Joining him will be a panel of educators, social service professionals, and others working every day to help people in need. POVERTY: The Working Poor event will be free to the public. The community is encouraged to participate and submit questions prior to the event at communityinteractive@azpm.org, on azpm’s facebook page or facebook.com/CFSAZ.

Select questions will be presented at the live event for discussion. Community Interactive – POVERTY: The Working Poor event will be streamed live at azpm.org, and available on demand and broadcast on WORLD on Wednesday, February 19 at 9:30 p.m. and on the UA Channel on Thursday, February 20 at 8 p.m. AZPM will feature the issue on news programming including, AZ Illustrated on PBS 6 and on NPR 89.1. The series is produced in partnership by Arizona Public Media and the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona, with support from COX Communications and the Arizona Daily Star.”

Panelists include:

Patti Caldwell, executive director of Tucson’s Our Family Services

Molly Castelazo, founder and president of Castelazo Content in Phoenix

Clarice Clash, principal of Tucson High Magnet School

Herminia Cubillos, executive director of Tucson’s JobPath

Ian Galloway, senior research associate of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Peggy Hutchison, chief executive officer of Tucson’s Primavera Foundation

Lane Kenworthy, professor of sociology and political science at the University of Arizona

Michael McDonald, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona

 John Pedicone, former superintendent of Tucson Unified and Flowing Wells school districts.

During and right after law school, I worked at legal aid clinics to assist the poor and working poor (the gap group) with their legal rights. Tucson is a low wage town and this is still an important issue for the thousands of people in need here.

Previous articleUpdate on Arizona’s proof-of-citizenship voter registration form case
Next articleThose fake NRCC mirror web sites violate federal law
Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for Tucsoncitizen.com for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, www.southernazjapan.org (since Jan. 2013).


  1. Almost a full house tonight at the Fox theater to hear Neal Conan moderate this panel to discuss the root causes of poverty and what is currently working in Tucson. Margaret Chaney, TUSD teacher substituted for Principal Clarice Clash. The nine panelists (see list above for the other 8) agreed that more collaboration was needed among all of them, and the Mayor’s Commission on Poverty, but more needs to be done also with the schools, the business community, non-profits, political leadership. Successful programs elsewhere were highlighted such as the Harlem Children’s Home and the Eastlake program in Atlanta. My question about low wages & how to get out of the cycle of poverty was asked by Conan, as well as others sent in to AZPM. Watch the future broadcasts for this taped show on AZPM. Education is one of the keys to get out of poverty, and of course better paying jobs & training. Ward 3 Councilmember Karin Uhlich was in attendance.

Comments are closed.