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Johnson Puts Faith In Church-Based Solutions To Poverty

Feingold Says Additional Options Are Needed

Ron Johnson
Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA)

Wisconsin’s major party U.S. Senate candidates, Democrat Russ Feingold and Republican incumbent Ron Johnson, disagree over whether a faith-based jobs program is the best remedy for poverty in Milwaukee.

Johnson is promoting the Joseph Project, an initiative that he helped create, in which a Milwaukee African-American church helps residents with employment training and transportation to jobs in Sheboygan and Waukesha.

But Feingold argues the incumbent should look at bigger solutions for tackling poverty.

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“It’s not enough to pick people up in a van and send them away a couple hours and have them come back exhausted at the end of the day,” Feingold said. “That doesn’t make a community.”

There needs to be more investment in minority-owned businesses, community policing and in public schools, Feingold said.

Johnson said the Joseph Project is prompting other businesses to look at locating in low-income Milwaukee neighborhoods.

“We’re hoping what the Joseph Project demonstrates is a lot of good people here want to work. They’re great workers,” he said, adding that Feingold doesn’t have a clue about creating jobs.