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Cuomo points to programs that combat poverty

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo came to Buffalo today with an upbeat message about the local economy. He noted how unemployment has dropped from the “high 8” percent range to 6.1 percent today and credited his economic development strategy.

“It’s working,” Cuomo said.

But Census numbers released last week show that for the first time in at least 10 years, more than half of children who live in the city live in poverty.

Cuomo said poverty is pervasive, and offered a brief response to the new Census estimates during a visit to The Buffalo News.

“Poverty is a problem in the state of New York,” he said. “Poverty is a problem nationwide, and it’s a significant issue, and we have nutrition programs, housing programs, employment programs to attack the poverty problem.”

The number of children living in poverty increased from 45 percent in 2012 to 50.6 percent in 2013, according to the Census figures.

Buffalo has the third-highest poverty rate for children among the country’s 75 biggest cities. The 2005 rate was 37.5 percent.

Cuomo spent much of his visit talking about progress in the city, and cited an uptick in job creation.

“There’s much reason and fact to feel good, to feel positive,” he said.