"If you play according to the rules...work 40 hours a week, you shouldn't have to live in poverty in the United State of America," said Cardin.
With millions of Americans and more than 16,000 residents in Frederick County struggling to make ends meet, Cardin and Frederick County leaders talked about local and Congressional inititaives that would provide a fair shot at economic success for all.
"We need a fair tax code. I do have a proposal that says that we should have a tax code that everyone is treated fairly," said Cardin.
Members of the Prosperity Center, a collective of different Frederick County nonprofits and other groups, say that around 30 to 40 percent of residents are spending more than half of their income on housing, a number they want to reduce through education.
"That's the population we want to reach. There's great work being done with homeless coalitions and what not but we look at residents that have a job but just can't put food on the table," said Josh Pedersen, CEO at Frederick County United Way.
Other members of the collaborative shared their separate initiatives including a credit cafe, curiousity academy and a free tax preparation effort - all different programs that will benefit working class families.
"We want to help them with their income, access to the earned income tax credit...but also maintain and grow their assets," said Pedersen.
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