CLC Executive Director Judith Sandalow spoke with Joanie Greve of The Guardian about a new study that shines a light on the wealth disparities in DC.
Judith Sandalow, the executive director of the Children’s Law Center, said the results emphasized the “huge disparity” between the perception of Washington as the seat of the most powerful government in the world and the often harrowing reality for many children in the city.
“Two miles from the White House, there are children going to bed hungry and not knowing where they’re going to sleep tomorrow night,” Sandalow said.
“The increasing inequality in the city is actually part of the problem. Even as the city purposefully becomes a place where wealthier individuals want to live and builds for that group, we have not planned as a city for the families who live here today.”
Sandalow’s organization works with one in nine children living in the poorest neighborhoods of DC, providing legal services and pushing for systematic changes to address the problems it sees. She said that many lower-income families in the city suffer from a domino effect of challenges that often begins with an inability to access affordable housing.
“There’s an extraordinary ripple effect,” Sandalow said. “The dominoes are stacked very close together for low- and middle-income families in DC. And when one domino falls, you can watch them all cascade so that the child’s family stability, health, education and housing all fall apart.”