"To laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children, to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends, to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others, to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch... to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded!"
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Native American Poverty by Tom Rodgers
A Challenge Too Often Ignored
“To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a
land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.”
– W.E.B. Du Bois
No discussion of poverty, and of the need to renew
opportunity in America, can be complete without a
frank consideration of the situation faced by Native
Americans. With a worsening economy, the inevitable
churn of holiday stories about the least fortunate, and a
new Administration, now is the right time for meaningful
action to address poverty in Native American
Three Native American legislative amendments were passed out of Committee, September 2005:
1. Subjecting the NIGC to Government Performance
Results Act (GPRA);
2. Including Native American Tribes as the
equivalent of state and local governments for the purposes of
the Endangered Species Act (which passed out of Committee yesterday);
3. Section 101 of the Indian Technical Corrections
With all of the above items I have conceived the concept, built and directed the coalition to convince the public-policy makers, and have had the concept included in a Committee Markup Bill. As a result, these concepts are included as part of the respective Committee Chairman's bill.
I have also conceived and I am currently leading, a coalition to have a Native American Tax-Exempt Bond hearing in the US Senate Finance Committee.
I feel these accomplishments point to my ability to conceive an idea and build a coalition, which results in becoming a part of the Chairman's bill.
I am very proud of my accomplishments for the first session of the 109th Congress. I am even more proud that one of the amendments I did completely pro bono.
I was able to raise over $200,000 for a Native American Tribe to assist them after their Reservation was severely damaged by Hurricane Rita.