How can the next president reduce poverty and increase economic opportunity? This question was the subject of a forum on March 5 sponsored by the Center on Children and Families at Brookings, the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford, and the Spotlight on Poverty Campaign.
The U.S. has made only modest progress against poverty in the last three decades, while income inequality has grown. Despite these unfortunate trends, recent presidential elections have generally neglected issues of poverty and economic opportunity. The Annie E. Casey and Eos Foundations are sponsoring a project called “Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity” that is employing a range of activities to encourage candidates to address these overlooked issues. Similarly, the Stanford Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality has launched a magazine called Pathways to bring attention to these same issues. The first issue of Pathways, published in February, features several articles on poverty and inequality by leading scholars of differing political views and by several presidential candidates. These organizations banded together to sponsor a Brookings event to provide a forum for specific ideas about policies and programs that the next administration could initiate to reduce poverty and increase opportunity in America.