As the nation marks the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, it’s clear that income inequality is an issue that resonates with Californians today. According to the latest PPIC Statewide Survey, a record-high 66 percent of residents said the state is divided into haves and have-nots. When asked to characterize themselves Californians are split, with 40 percent saying they are part of the haves and 45 percent saying they are part of the have-nots. But this split obscures a striking change since 2002, when 60 percent viewed themselves as part of the haves and just 32 percent viewed themselves as part of the have-nots.
The legislature is also taking notice and has established a new legislative caucus focusing on poverty and inequality. Part of the mission of the caucus is to increase economic opportunity for all Californians.