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In one of my first columns, I discussed the importance of financial literacy as a tool to help level the playing field in our community. It was aimed at helping individuals think about how sound financial planning could improve their daily lives and their surroundings. Hopefully, it got through to a few folks and helped them to make some positive changes. I write about the topic again because it is clear the message did not get through to Mount Vernon’s government. We’ve got a fiscal emergency on our hands, and I am not seeing any progress being made to solve it by our elected “leaders.” It’s very simple, really. If we don’t solve this problem, we can expect some serious financial pain in


In what would have been Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s 90th year, we celebrate his life and legacy amid discord, government shutdown, and an extremely divided nation. Given the important lessons Dr. King taught us in both life and death, the state of our society is probably not a very fitting tribute. There are so many lessons he gave in his short time with us, a number of which we can recite without much thought: commitment to non-violence, determination, dignity, and love. As we observe his holiday this week, we should take some time to remember and honor one of Dr. King’s greatest, but least emphasized, legacies, one he left behind for us to embrace and personify: accountability. In 19


As we move into the fourth full week of a Federal government shutdown, the longest in our nation’s history, it’s easy to think of it as a faraway, “Washington” problem. But, the reality is that the impact of the stalemate may be felt much closer to home, in ways that aren’t always readily apparent. Our society is increasingly dependent on the Federal government, particularly for program funding for low and middle-income families. State and local governments are not always able to fill in the gaps, even if they are assured of repayment after the Federal government reopens. As this shutdown drags out, it may fall on us as neighbors to pull together and help each other however we can. New Yo

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