May 1, 2014 Meeting

Meeting Agenda – May 1, 3:30-5:00

Location: Community Foundation of the Ozarks


I. Welcome – Gail Smart

II. Opportunities for Poverty Simulation Make-up Sessions – Carl Rosencrantz

III. Presentation: Child Care

Presenters: Dana Carroll (Every Child Promise)

IV. Questions and Discussion

V. Adjourn

Commission Attendees:        

Gail Smart, Center City Christian Outreach, Co-Chair

Greg Burris, Springfield City Manager, Co-Chair

Cheryl Clay, NAACP Board

Sherry Coker, OTC

Rob Dixon, Chamber of Commerce

Ashley French, Junior League

Rob Fulp, First Community Bank

Liz Ghan, Student at Parkview High School

Brendan Griesemer, City of Springfield

John Horton, Rotary Clubs of Springfield

David Jayne, Central Assembly

Chris Jones, City Utilities

Mary Kromrey, Healthy Living Alliance

Traci Louvier, Tuthill Vacuum

Morey Mechlin, Care to Learn

Rob Nelson, Marlin Company

Mary Ann Rojas, City of Springfield

Carl Rosenkranz, OACAC

Cora Scott, City of Springfield, Information & Civic Engagement

Larry Spilker, Buckhorn, Inc.

Dr. Mike Stout, MSU

Mark Struckhoff, Council of Churches

Maura Taylor, Health Commission

Jaimie Trussell, Convoy of Hope


Dr. John Harms, MSU

Dr. Tim Knapp, MSU

Staff Support:

Janet Dankert, CPO

Trent Sims, CPO

Myra Massey, CPO


Co-Chair Gail Smart opened the meeting and thanked everyone for attending. Co-Chair and City Manager Greg Burris welcomed the group and asked Rob Fulp to introduce himself and to share any information regarding his experiences with poverty.

Greg thanked Will Carter from CPO and Cora Scott from the City of Springfield for creating the new website,, and asked Will to share the video made at the poverty simulation presented for the Commission by OACAC. Greg then asked for feedback on the poverty simulation. The group discussed scheduling poverty simulations for various organizations across the community if funding was available. Carl Rosenkranz shared the schedule for simulations already in place and the necessary logistics of presenting such an event. It was agreed by the group to pursue this possibility.

Greg called attention to the documents provided in the meeting packet: Impacting Poverty Commission Proposed Strategies, Proposed List of Future Meeting Topics, and the Meeting Feedback Form and asked for suggestions for presenters for topics at future meetings. He then asked Dr. Mike Stout to introduce the guest speakers for today’s topic, Root Causes of Poverty, Dr. John Harms and Dr. Tim Knapp.

Dr. Harms and Dr. Knapp, professors in the Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology Department at Missouri State University, spoke on “Poverty: The Big Picture” and “Poverty Trends in Greene County, 1989 to 2012” respectively.

Dr. Harms presented information, definitions, concepts, and data to help provide some of the economic and sociological frameworks for viewing and understanding poverty, emphasizing that poverty is not just individuals making poor decisions, but a combination of factors including opportunity structure and social environment. Graphs provided statistical information illustrating rates of poverty according to age, race, gender, education, and economy, and illustrating the growing imbalance of family income between wage/salary earners on the low and on the high end spectrum of income.

Dr. Knapp shared historical poverty trends in Greene County, 1989 to 2012, with respect to changes in the economy and in the distribution of the benefits of economic growth. The data provided was taken from the Census Bureau’s Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates and broken down yearly, giving a more accurate estimate for the Commission to consider. Dr. Knapp also provided multiple causes of poverty determined through historical evidence, both economical/political and cultural factors. He provided information about programs other communities are implementing to address poverty, as well as providing resources for Commission members to consider.

Dr. Harms and Dr. Knapp provided documents with more detailed information at the meeting regarding both presentations.

After a brief question and answer session, Greg thanked Dr. Harms and Dr. Knapp for their time and the thought-provoking information they had provided, and reminded the members to provide their thoughts on the feedback form before leaving the meeting.