California’s Crisis: Ending Child Poverty

Lunch Panel

Jim Newton in Conversation with Rep. Karen Bass and Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg

Maryor Garcetti

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
“Cities are the laboratories of change in America.”

“California’s Crisis: Ending Child Poverty,” a conference co-convened by GRACE and The California Endowment, took place on Monday, December 16, 2013.

With over 250 attendees and many more watching the live stream, the conference was an important step in the process of identifying, gaining consensus and then implementing measures to reduce child poverty in California.

Featured speakers included:

  • Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder, Children’s Defense Fund
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
  • Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), Founder and Co-Chair, Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth
  • Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Co-Chair, Congressional Out-of-Poverty Caucus
  • State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
  • CA State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg
  • CA State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Chair, Ending Poverty in California Caucus
  • Peter Edelman, Faculty Director, Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy, Georgetown Law School and author of “So Rich, So Poor: Why it’s so Hard to End Poverty in America”
  • Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
  • Jonathan Greenblatt, Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation

Panel Discussions included:

  • Income Support Programs: Effectiveness and Goals
  • Jim Newton in Conversation with California Leaders: Specific Approaches to Reduce Child Poverty
  • Breaking the Cycle: Early Intervention and Support
  • California FreshWorks: Social Investment for Healthier Communities

Please click here to download a copy of the research paper distributed at the conference “California’s Child Poverty Crisis: What Research Tells Us.”

Polling results presented at the conference showed that two-thirds of California voters not only believe that government has a responsibility to reduce child poverty they are also willing to pay higher taxes to do it. GRACE California Poverty Survey – Key Findings

Please click here to view videos of each of the presentations and panel discussions.

To view photos from the conference, please click here.

We are currently reviewing recommendations that were made throughout the day and conducting further research. If you would like to share your thoughts on recommendations you think should be made a priority, please email us at

Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman
“We must set a goal to end child poverty in the richest nation on earth.”


Dr. Bob Ross, Jim Newton, Conway Collis and Hon. Margaret Henry.

Peter Edelman

Peter Edelman
“We can’t end child poverty without public policy.”


Over 250 people attended the conference and many more watched the live stream.

Breaking the Cycle Panel

Panel Discussion: Breaking the Cycle: Early Intervention and Support

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