Charles Koch Launches Campaign to Fight Poverty and Improve Education

Stand Together is the name of the new non-profit initiated by Charles Koch, which will focus on fighting poverty and improving education. Plans will be shared with Koch donors at a seminar in Palm Springs, California.

Stand Together will make a “real difference in people’s lives by actually solving the problems they have,” says Evan Feinberg, executive director of the organization.

The non-profit’s efforts will be helped by Bob Woodson, CEO of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. Woodson, 78, a veteran of civil rights activities, was also instrumental in formulating President George W. Bush’s faith-based initiatives. He wants to attract people who are “social entrepreneurs,” those who are successful in solving societal problems like drug addiction in poor neighborhoods.

Feinberg described the program as a mix of grant-writing and infrastructure funding. New non-profits would be set up. An example he gave was Stand Together supporting a business owner who would hire former jail prisoners in a community-based program.

Woodson praises the program. “What makes Koch unique is that he is the only person with money that has come to us and not dictated to us what we should do but wants to help us build on what we already do.”

Americans for Prosperity, the largest grass-roots political advocacy group founded by the Kochs, has become involved in the poverty project by teaching couponing classes in poor neighborhoods. The Libre Initiative, a different group aimed at poor Hispanics, gave away free turkeys to Latinos. Koch himself along with Koch Industries, has donated $25 million to the United Negro College Fund.

In conjunction with the Obama Administration, Koch officials have pushed for prison reform and eliminating state licensing for certain jobs. Both feel these licenses are too costly for the poor and discourage potential careers.

Koch Industries is the second largest company in the United States. It has 100,000 employees in 60 countries and takes in $115 billion every year. Charles and his brother David inherited the company from their father and have been generous donors to the arts and political causes.

This article recapped–initiative-republican/79468744/

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