Dallas Has Highest Child Poverty Rate Among 10 Largest U.S. Cities, Report Finds | KERA News

Dallas Has Highest Child Poverty Rate Among 10 Largest U.S. Cities, Report Finds

Sep 8, 2016

Five stories that have North Texas talking: A Lewisville clarinetist doesn’t want to go corporate just to ease her debt; bust your gut with five Dallas food challenges; what questions do you have about the election?; and more.

 

About 38 percent of children in Dallas live in poverty — the highest rate among the 10 largest U.S. cities, according to a report presented to city council Wednesday. That percentage means a family of four is living off less than $24,000 a year, The Dallas Morning News reports. Also in the report: More than 27,300 of Dallasites with full-time jobs live in poverty.

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The Morning News says the statistics aren’t necessarily news to city council members, but how to change the numbers is still up in the air. The city’s Poverty Task Force, created in 2014 by Mayor Mike Rawlings to determine why an affluent city like Dallas has prominent poverty, says the problem can be tackled with efforts from not just City Hall but Dallas ISD, DART and nonprofit agencies, too.

 

Among several short- and long-term solutions offered Wednesday by council member, Mark Clayton, the council is "poised to approve one of them: tougher housing codes." [The Dallas Morning News]

  • “I’ve tried several corporate jobs, and I just hated it. It’s just not in my soul. It’s not who I am.” Katie Combest, a 38-year-old clarinetist from Lewisville, has two bachelor’s degrees, a job she loves and $38,000 in student loan debt. Combest has one credit card with a low balance and a car that’s completely paid off. It’s just the student loans bogging her down. The debt, she says, is “kind of like a thorn in my side.” She faithfully pays on her loans each month, but she’s having trouble securing a mortgage and saving money for the future. Learn more about Combest in the video below and explore “Drowning In Debt” — the new installment of KERA’s One Crisis Away. [One Crisis Away]

 

  • The third season of KERA’s spotlight on indie film in Texas premieres tonight. The episode offers “a portrait of a year in the lives of four, small-town kids as they raise and care for farm animals to show in competition at a local county fair. Presented from the perspective of the kids themselves, the film is an affecting coming of age story, and a unique look at a formidable time in childhood.” “Frame of Mind” is a co-production of Video Association of Dallas and Art&Seek. The program airs at 10 p.m. on Thursdays on KERA TV. Check out this fall’s lineup, [Art&Seek]
  • Why just eat to survive, when you can eat to win? Dallas has several crazy eating challenges that either with make you sick to your stomach or ready with a fork and knife. D Magazine rounded up five “gut-busting culinary trials in the city,” that range from a 7-pound burger to a 5-gallon bowl of pho. Here’s one from Serious Pizza in Deep Ellum: “Finish off a 30-inch, one-topping pizza and wash it down with a 40-ounce beer (water or soda available for those under 21) within an hour.” If you succeed, you get the $40 worth of food paid for, a gift certificate, shirt, koozie and more. The challenge has been up for five years, but no one has come out on the other side. [D Magazine]
  • What big questions do you want answered by November? In Texas, there’s far more at stake in the 2016 election season than who takes the White House. There’s dysfunction in the Texas Democratic and Republican parties. And demographic change is accelerating. How is the national landscape affecting politics in Texas? Why lines are so long at the polls? Reporters from KERA and several stations across the state will dig into the most intriguing questions and story ideas from our listeners leading up to this year’s election. Submit your question or story idea below.

 

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