CALEITC4Me & UCR: TACKLING POVERTY IN THE IE
FIRST INLAND EMPIRE POVERTY SUMMIT CONNECTS KEY DATA WITH THOSE ON THE FRONTLINES OF POVERTY NATIONAL
ECONOMIC DIRECTOR GENE SPERLING KEYNOTES
Riverside, CA. Today the UC Riverside Blum Initiative on Global and Regional Poverty and CalEITC4Me hosted the first ever Inland Empire Poverty Summit to discuss cooperative solutions to poverty in the region. Gene Sperling, the first person to serve as National Economic Council Director for two presidents – Obama and Clinton, headlined the forum that included CalEITC4Me founder, Joe Sanberg, and 150 policy-makers, elected officials, non-profit leaders and service providers.
CalEITC4Me is the statewide outreach organization that has already helped over 2 million low income Californians claim $4 billion in cash to help them afford life’s basic needs. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the most effective tools to lift people out of poverty.
“As President Clinton often said, ‘If you work full time, you shouldn’t have to raise your kids in poverty,’” said Mr. Sperling, who championed the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit during the Clinton Administration, in his keynote address. “The Earned Income Tax Credit is a story of helping as you go. Every step along the way is about real people.”
Today’s forum connected evidence-based best practices with those on the frontlines of poverty intervention across Riverside and San Bernardino counties to work toward a holistic understanding of our poverty in our region. The Blum Initiative issued a report (attached) with new poverty data including trends over the past 15 years, poverty risk-factors, and comparisons to neighboring counties.
“The real measure of poverty is the daily experience and the silent suffering of those living with the constant struggle to afford life’s basic needs – that never-ending pit in your stomach. And this is the case for the supermajority of those living in the Inland Empire,” said Joe Sanberg, Founder of CalEITC4Me in his closing remarks. “If you understand that so many Americans live in poverty because of a long set of bad and lazy economic policy choices, then you realize we can create a different future with different choices – and that is the source for authentic hope.”
“We have the tools to relieve poverty in the Inland Empire, the place where I am proudly from and still call home,” said Blanca Lopez, Inland Director for CalEITC4Me. “One of these tools, the California Earned Income Tax Credit, has already helped hundreds of thousands of our hard-working neighbors provide their families with the basic necessities: food, shelter, healthcare, education and transportation. Today’s forum brought cutting edge data to the service providers who are making a difference each and every day in our mission to end poverty.”