Local leaders and residents gathered today at Katie's Cup in Rockford to try and tackle the issue of poverty. Katie's Cup-- adding itself to the list with other movements such as Transform Rockford in hopes of making change in the area.
"As a community member it's certainly very exciting to see what's going on and as a part of Katie's Cup coffee bar, located were we are in a redeveloping part of rockford, on 7th street. I think it's important for us as a coffee bar to be involved as well," said Mariel Heinke.
Officials say its important to discuss poverty because it's directly linked to other issues such as crime and education.
"I think in Rockford and Winnebago the level of poverty is very high and that affects so many of the issues that we face in this community. Whether it comes to high crime rates, low educational achievement or the ability to attract industry and business here and keep business here and it deals with poverty."
Senator stadelman shared one possible way to tackle the issue of poverty at the state level.
"I think with the expansion of medicaid I think that's a step. I think everybody should have access to affordable quality health care and if they don't, life is very difficult."
Even though it's a long road before the issue of poverty turns in the right direction-- many are still hopeful in the stateline.
"This is a wondeful community and we have wonderful people who have great ideas and we can make this happen. I think this time is the time," said Heinke.