California has experienced tremendous job growth since the Great Recession of 2009, and its economy ranks as the fifth largest in the world. At the same time, the state has one of the highest poverty rates in the country that shows no signs of abating. In November 2019, we asked our panel of experts across Southern California some key questions related to poverty, and we found a variety of perspectives across sectors, including government, nonprofits, philanthropy, and academia.

We have organized responses across our experts for each question below:

  1. From your perspective, what are the most effective means of keeping people out of poverty? What are the most effective means of lifting people out of poverty?
  2. What can state government do to reduce poverty in Southern California? What should they not do?
  3. What can county or city governments do to reduce poverty in Southern California? What should they not do?
  4. What can large employers do to reduce poverty in Southern California? What should they not do? Are there particular industries or sectors that we need to pay attention to?
  5. What can nonprofits do to reduce poverty in Southern California? What should they not do?
  6. What can philanthropic organizations do to reduce poverty in Southern California? What should they not do?

In addition, the Southern California News Group published a full-page spread on the issue across its 11 daily newspapers on December 1, 2019.