Now, I am as dedicated to poverty reduction as any elected official (and if anyone would like to discuss my record, I am open). But Palmeri, in his 2.5 years as an elected Oshkosh Common Council Member has done little or nothing to reduce poverty in Oshkosh.
Because Mr. Palmeri is very good at self-promotion, let's look at his major tool for this to evaluate his record: www.talktotony.blogspot.com (the link takes you to a Google search of his blog for the word 'Poverty').
You will find that he has 10 results about poverty on his blog. Tony was first elected in 4/2007. Of these 10, 6 are from before he was elected. Including:
In this post, he calls for the creation of a blue-ribbon panel on poverty consisting of former mayors (mind you, he would not be part of this panel) as a campaign promise.
In this post, he calls for "a jobs summit and/or create an Economic Development Commission to come up with real strategies for maintaining, attracting, and creating family supporting jobs in the community" - another opportunity for talking (but not doing anything) about poverty.
In this post he calls for "a living wage ordinance for the city of Oshkosh" - an item he has had 2.5 ears as a council member to introduce, but has not.
In the posts since his election, he has recorded:
A move by then Mayor Frank Tower (not Palmeri) to create a commission.
A post featuring a Kennedy quote.
A post comparing the war on Drugs with the War on Poverty.
A post complaining how the new ambulance rates will hurt the poor (he voted for it):
We approved new ambulance rates (I was part of the 6-1 majority), but we completely dropped any discussion of how increased rates affect those least able to pay. We gave lip service to that topic at the August workshop, and it did turn out to be just that: lip service. The painful reality is that this council or city government in general does not have in place any coherent anti-poverty program, nor do we seem particularly interested in developing one. We are all responsible for that; I am not trying to blame anyone.Once again, Mr. Palmeri complained about the neglect of the poor, while continuing to neglect them.
Here is the rub. As a member of the Oshkosh Common Council, he has the opportunity to introduce any resolution at any meeting. The way I see it, he has been in office 52 months, and at 2 meetings a month, that is 104 opportunities to do something on this issue squandered.
Tonight, Mr. Palmeri called once again for more than lip service for Oshkosh's residents in poverty. I hope this time he actually means it.
His record does not look promising.