Fifty years ago this month, President Lyndon Johnson spoke of waging an “unconditional war on poverty.” This watershed moment has given rise to another kind of war – a war of pundits. Some say we lost the war, so let’s just end it already, while others cite progress made by government soldiers. They want to double down on the battle.
What gets lost is an authentic debate about the lessons of these 50 years. From Isles’ perspective, neither the political left nor right has a lock on the truth. We believe we are clearing a third path at Isles, one that meets basic human needs of all people, but always with an end goal of family self-reliance. It is that focus on self-sufficiency that often gets lost in the culture of government and charity.
It is far easier to talk about this stuff than it is to do something about it. At Isles, we have a toolbox full of self-help tools and information. A key to self-reliance and healthy communities is in our homes. For boundless reasons, they need to be safe and energy efficient. How? Isles E4 shows an innovative way that also strengthens our local economy.
Finally, many thanks to our friends and supporters who helped make 2013 a great year for Isles. Your many types of gifts enable us to ask tough, independent questions and answer them, in support of a seemingly audacious mission.
For a peaceful and prosperous 2014, and in community,