Gov. Brownback announces new task force to reduce childhood poverty

Gov. Sam Brownback

TOPEKA – Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday announced the formation of a task force to reduce childhood poverty.

The 12-member task force will start meeting next week, and it aims to find cost-effective ways to make sure children understand as soon as possible that their decisions can have a lasting impact on their future.

“All too often in our state, children who are living in poverty today become tomorrow’s poor parents. Intergenerational poverty such as this affects our state’s long-term productivity and wellbeing,” Brownback said in a prepared statement.

The task force members include:

  • Phyllis Gilmore, secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families
  • Sherdeill Breathett, former president of the South Central Economic Development district and an executive board member of Real Men, Real Heroes.
  • Shawn Sullivan, secretary of the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services
  • Robert Moser, secretary of the Kansas Department for Health and the Environment
  • Monsignor Vincent Krische,  a senior associate at Corpus Christi Church in Lawrence
  • Dan Lord, professor of marriage and family therapy at Friends University
  • Carolyn Szafran, a social work instructor and field coordinator at Washburn University
  • Barry Feaker, executive director of the Topeka Rescue Mission
  • Mary Wilkinson, a member of the Kansas Family Policy Council Board of Directors
  • Joan Schultz, executive director of The Willow Domestic Violence Center (The Willow) in Lawrence
  • Joyce Crumpton, who has retired after working as a nurse in the Kansas City area for 30 years and has previously served on the REACH Healthcare Foundation.
  • Robert DeLeon, community center director and youth program director for the Salvation Army in Garden City.