Federal Poverty Guidelines

Resolution Number SAC09.81

Federal Poverty Guidelines

WHEREAS, it is widely recognized that the Federal Poverty Guidelines, a formula created in the early 1960s and based on the cost of food for a family multiplied by three, are hopelessly out-of-date because the Federal Poverty Guidelines fail to account for the 21st century budget, where food is no longer one third of a family’s budget; rather, with the increased costs of housing, health care and child care, food is now roughly one-sixth of a family budget; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Poverty Guidelines also do not take into account regional cost of living differences; instead they use a “one-size-fits-all” method of measuring poverty, rendering the current guidelines meaningless in terms of actually measuring the number of people and families in the United States who are in poverty, especially undercounting areas with high costs of living, such as the state of California; and

WHEREAS, there is a nationwide movement to update the Federal Poverty Guidelines to reflect the needs of families in the United States;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party supports an update of the Federal Poverty Guidelines to a formula that better reflects the realities a family faces in making ends meet, and reflects specific local and regional factors that incorporate the current percentage of income that families spend on transportation, health care, housing, food, child care and other basic necessities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Democratic Party be instructed to send copies of this resolution to elected Democrats from the state of California in the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives.

Written & Submitted by: Becca Doten, CDP Executive Board Member, AD 46;
Ackley Padilla, AD 39; LA County Democratic Party (LACDP)
Co-Sponsors: Joseph Legaspi, Regional Director, Region 15
Susie Shannon, CDP Executive Board Member, AD 42
Nikki Noushkam, CDP Executive Board Member, AD 56
 
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Adopted by the Executive Board
Of the California Democratic Party At its Executive Board Meeting
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Burlingame
July 19, 2009

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