What works in helping the poor?

Before Robert Doar became a scholar who studies public policy, he was a practitioner who put it into practice.

Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Doar ran New York City’s Human Resources Administration —  the country’s largest social services agency.

With Doar at the helm, NYC’s welfare caseload dropped by 25%. More than 500,000 poor New Yorkers transitioned from public assistance to work.

How can we take that success nationwide?


In this compelling talk, Doar explains what motivated him to join this fight. And he describes four key principles that drove that victory: Government needs to require work, reward work, promote two-parent families, and help ignite economic growth to create ample opportunities to work.

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Ready to take action?

These new insights won’t put themselves into practice. Struggling Americans need your help.

Here’s how you can join the fight for social justice:

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Stay connected with the movement. This effort to build a better America is just beginning. Join our community and stay in the fight.

Read more from Robert Doar. Doar is a bold advocate for antipoverty policy that actually works. In “Where’s the Outrage?,” he takes economists to task for their complacency in the face of an ongoing human tragedy. In “The Path to Responsibility Can Start With a Broom and a Paycheck,” he shares on-the-ground stories from one of New York City’s most successful job-training outfits. And in “10 Welfare Reform Lessons,” Doar lists the top ten principles he gleaned from his successful career in government.

Hear what other new voices are saying. Leading voices in Washington, D.C. are talking about opportunity in new and counter-intuitive ways. Michael Strain argues that struggling Americans deserve “more than the minimum wage,”and offers better policy ideas in its place. Arthur Brooks challenges everyone, whatever line of work we’re in, to ask how our job can be a helping profession. And in this popular YouTube playlist, Brooks asks Bill Gates all the big questions about the future of fighting poverty.

Roll up your sleeves. Public policy is very important. But when is the last time you personally gave of yourself to others? Every single one of us can probably afford to dedicate a little more of our time, our talents, or our treasure to the service of people who need our help. Whether through charitable donations or regular volunteering, we have the power to change lives today.