Fifty years ago, President Lyndon Johnson declared a war on poverty. Now, State Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) is firing some new shots in that old war.
DeSaulnier recently created the Ending Poverty and Inequality in California (EPIC) Caucus. Its mission is to reduce the number of people living in poverty and to increase economic opportunity for all Californians.
The caucus includes Democrats and Republicans in the state House and Assembly, and aims to address inequality and poverty by analyzing data and writing new legislation.
"As we continue our economic recovery, we must renew the mission to end poverty. For millions of Californians there is still no way into the middle class," DeSaulnier said. "We have an opportunity to ensure that the California dream is an opportunity for all, and not just for a select few."
Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-Monterey Bay) has been named co-chair of the EPIC Caucus.
"The causes of poverty are numerous and complex, and an overwhelming number of Californians continue to face countless barriers to exiting poverty and establishing better futures for themselves and their families," Stone said. "With this effort we hope to take a comprehensive approach to solving this multifaceted problem that affects so many of the state's residents."
Senator Ellen Corbett has joined the caucus, along with fellow state senators Jim Beall, Noreen Evans, Loni Hancock, Carol Liu, Bill Monning, Holly Mitchell, Alex Padilla, Lois Wolk and Roderick D. Wright.
Also on board are assemblymembers Luis Alejo, Toni Atkins, Susan Bonilla, Steven Bradford, Rocky Chávez, Wesley Chesbro, Lorena Gonzalez and Adam Gray.