Poverty Alleviation Initiative
“It’s hard to change the world, but it’s not so hard to change some people’s world” -Cass Sunstein
Official logo for Breathe: LA County's Guaranteed Income Program



Our country’s and local economies have long been plagued by staggering levels of inequality. As we strive to create a more resilient Los Angeles County, we want to establish sustainable and long-term poverty alleviation, beyond emergency programs meant to help in times of crisis. The recent pandemic has put into sharp focus what was already clear to many: the inequities in our economy have been a matter of life and death for many of our most vulnerable County residents. Prior to the pandemic, the safety net had failed to address pervasive structural issues that have been keeping many children and families trapped in poverty. We recognize the reality that it is inequity and lack of access built into our economy and support systems—not personal failure—that are responsible for the persistent financial insecurity faced by too many County residents.

Our Charge

The Poverty Alleviation Initiative (PAI) will work with County, community, philanthropic, and other partners to address poverty and financial insecurity across the continuum: how to prevent, mitigate, and avoid re-entry into poverty. It will take all of us, including policy makers, County departments, community residents, those with lived expertise, community-based organizations, advocates, and others working together to make truly meaningful improvement.

Our Approach

Our work will focus on three main areas:

  • Local, State, and federal policy levels
  • Improving residents’ access and experiences with obtaining County services
  • Building upon existing community assets that should be strengthened and/or expanded

The PAI Action Plan

The Action Plan will include key, achievable efforts that can be implemented to address the continuum, including policy recommendations, operational efficiencies across County departments, and community supports that reach residents where they are and through partners they trust.

We just concluded a series of “listening sessions” across communities in LA County to hear directly from folks about what they think should be included in this plan. We are now vetting the draft plan with those participants and will be finalizing the plan over the next 1-2 months.

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