I Didn't Sign Up for War

DC Action is pleased to welcome Gwen Rubinstein, our new Deputy Director!

War is violent. War is bloody. War is deadly.

So why do so many well-meaning people continue to talk about fighting a war on poverty? A recent piece by the Center for American Progress even suggested fighting the “war on poverty” with early childhood education, a topic near to our hearts here at DC Action for Children.

It’s not that acting against poverty and its harmful effects isn’t important anymore. It’s actually more important than ever. In 2010, according to Census data, one in three children in the city and one in two children in Ward 8 living were living in poverty.

But I didn’t sign up for war. I refuse to sign up for war. I joined the staff of DC Action for Children last week because I want to solve our community problems, including poverty, with and through peace.

I am not interested in pursuing enemies but in cultivating active champions, leaders, advocates and supporters who will work with us to see that all of our children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

I am not interested in taking up arms but in working to win hearts and minds with information, nuance and persuasion until everyone in our community understands how we can act together to make sure that all of our children have the opportunity to reach their full potential.

I am not interested in victory and eventual withdrawal but in working to ensure that we address our new and continuing challenges and sustain our gains today and tomorrow.

What is that old slogan? War is unhealthy for children and other living beings. I look forward to building a better peace for all of us – and for our youngest citizens – together.