John Whikehart, one of three candidates running for the Democratic nomination to the Monroe County Board of Commissioners’ District 3, on Monday called for a local summit to address childhood poverty.
Whikehart, a former Ivy Tech Bloomington chancellor, pointed to a recent report that states 19 percent of children in the county live in poverty and called for leaders in business, economic development, community, education, nonprofit organizations and government to create action plans to address childhood poverty in Monroe County.
“We live in a county that is home to a world class research university and community college, an affluent community, a cultural and tourism destination, and 1 in 5 of our kids lives in poverty,” Whikehart said in a news release. “We must not accept that.”
Whikehart added that the community must address the issue or else “continue to see cycles of poverty, under education and under employment as generational issues for some of our residents.”
He proposed assembling a group similar to one created about a decade ago to improve skills of high school graduates, which resulted in the creation of the Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship.