CNN recently featured Dr. Mariana Chilton, Children’s HealthWatch Principal Investigator, and Tianna Gaines-Turner of Witnesses to Hunger, on the politics of poverty.

Mostly Ignored, Shifts Emerge in the Politics of Poverty

Tianna Gaines-Turner is so politically active she gave 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney a questionnaire to answer on policy positions. When he failed to respond, she volunteered on President Barack Obama’s campaign. She also encourages her neighbors to vote.

Her activism is persistent despite feeling like she is an ignored component of the American electorate.

“I feel like they’re not talking to me,” Gaines-Turner said of politicians.

That’s because she is poor. Her life is not unlike millions of Americans who rely on a patchwork of government assistance and near-minimum wage jobs.

Just as problematic to hunger and poverty activists — and to people like Gaines-Turner — there is almost no real discussion around issues important to them in Washington except when they surface in periodic budget wrangling.

Dr. Mariana Chilton, an associate professor at Drexel University’s School of Public Health and founder of the Witnesses to Hunger project focusing on “mothers who know poverty first hand,” said the lack of discussion is detrimental to the poor because winning candidates can’t be held accountable for promises they never make.

“We’ve seen a complete falling away of people in positions of leadership,” she said.

Click here to read the full article.