For decades, "poverty pimps" has been a term used by Downtown Eastsiders to describe the flock of poverty industry workers who descend on the Downtown Eastside everyday. But “povertarians” works better. Dag at Covenant Zone began using it recently and it’s catching on.
Dag’s description of a povertarian brings to mind Ethel Whitty, Director of the Carnegie Centre. According to Dag, the povertarian frequently has the word “community” on their lips. When Whitty got hired as the $104,000 a year Director of the Carnegie Centre, here’s what she told the Courier newspaper:
"I wanted to be director of the Carnegie because I had a real urge to be closer to community, and to be in the middle of community, and this is a real opportunity to do that."
But what Whitty seemed to prefer when she arrived at Carnegie was a gated community. She rarely ventures outside her third floor executive office to mix with the underclass. She does make an appearance in the cafeteria on veggie burger Tuesdays, sitting at a table surrounded by Carnegie members more carefully vetted than the front row at a Republican convention.
Ethel Whitty. Povertarian.