Spotlight Exclusives

State Poverty Commissioners Ask for Change in Federal Poverty Measure

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This week, 131 members of state poverty and opportunity commissions from around the country have come together to sign a letter calling for a new federal poverty measure. The letter, with support from members of both parties, asks for intervention from either Congress or the Administration to update the poverty measure, which the letter says is outdated and doesn۪t accurately reflect families۪ true living expenses. One of the signees is John Kefalas, a State Representative from Colorado who has contributed an exclusive Spotlight commentary this week introducing the letter and explaining why he supports it.

To reach out to executive branch, the letter has been sent to Rebecca Blank, Under Secretary for Economic Affairs in the Department of Commerce and a former member of the Spotlight Council of Advisors. Under Secretary Blank has spoken out on the poverty measure before, including in a piece introducing Spotlight۪s Poor Measurement series.

On the Congressional side, the letter is being sent to Senator Chris Dodd and Representative Jim McDermott. Representative McDermott has written a Spotlight commentary and appeared in a webcast explaining why he introduced the Measuring American Poverty Act, which seeks to update the measure.

Here at Spotlight, we۪re happy to see these issues discussed on a national stage, and we۪re proud to play our part in hosting the conversation.

Posted by Mike


Here at Out of the Spotlight, we offer a behind-the-scenes look at the latest news and information essential to anyone working to fight poverty. From key political appointees to clashes over policy, we cover the news that doesn۪t always make the evening news. Check out Out of the Spotlight for our take on the twists and turns of the latest political developments and its impact on poverty reduction. Topics and ideas are welcome! Just contact or

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