LOS ANGELES, SAN FRANCISCO and SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 17,
A Portrait of California shows that some Californians are enjoying levels of well-being and access to opportunity the nation as a whole will not reach until the 2060s, while others are experiencing health, education, and earnings levels that characterized the U.S. in the 1960s. Nearly a century of human progress separates the best-off and the worst-off areas in the state.
"California is rich in data on social and economic conditions. But too often we use them to identify separate problems requiring separate solutions. The American HD Index at the heart of A Portrait of California provides a way to make sense of economic, health, and education challenges in the interconnected way that people actually experience them," said Sarah Burd-Sharps, co-author of A Portrait of California. "Given the current budgetary environment in California, there could be no better time for this nonpartisan, fact-based tool to break down the silos, look at who is thriving and who is merely surviving, and identify the most strategic levers for change," added Kristen Lewis, co-author of A Portrait of California.
A Portrait of California sorts residents into "Five Californias" according to where they fall along the American HD Index:
AMONG THE KEY FINDINGS FROM A PORTRAIT OF CALIFORNIA:
A Portrait of California highlights actions that Californians can take to lock in human development successes today while setting the stage for significant budget savings and improved well-being tomorrow. These include investing in public health campaigns and food subsidies for fruits and vegetables; investing in preschool and targeting the worst performing high schools with the highest dropout rates; and taking steps to address gender equality and wage discrimination in the workplace.
Supporters of A Portrait of California are The California Community Foundation, The California Endowment, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Mr. and Mrs. William Draper III, The San Francisco Foundation, United Ways of California, and the Weingart Foundation.
For an interactive map program and more information on A Portrait of California, visit: www.measureofamerica.org/california.
About the American Human Development Project
The American Human Development Project provides easy-to-use, methodologically sound tools for understanding the distribution of well-being and opportunity in America and stimulating fact-based dialogue about issues we all care about: health, education, and living standards. The hallmark of this work is the American Human Development Index, an alternative to GDP and other money metrics that tells the story of how ordinary Americans are faring and empowers communities with a tool to track progress over time. The Index is comprised of health, education, and earnings indicators and allows for well-being rankings of the 50 states, county groups within states, women and men, and major racial and ethnic groups. Through national and state reports, thematic briefs, and the project's interactive website, the American Human Development Project aims to breathe life into numbers, using data to create compelling narratives that foster greater understanding of our shared challenges and greater support for people-centered policies.
The American Human Development Project is an initiative of the Social Science Research Council (SSRC).
About the Authors
Sarah Burd-Sharps and Kristen Lewis are co-directors of the American Human Development Project. Previously, Sarah worked with the United Nations for over two decades, most recently as Deputy Director of the Human Development Report Office of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). Prior to this, she worked in China and in a number of African countries on gender issues and economic empowerment. Sarah holds an M.I.A. from Columbia University. Kristen also comes from an international development policy background, having worked primarily in the areas of gender equality, governance, environment, and water and sanitation. Kristen is co-author, under the leadership of Jeffrey Sachs' Millennium Project, of the 2005 book Health, Dignity and Development: What Will It Take? She worked at the United Nations for some ten years and has served as a consultant for many international development organizations. Kristen also holds an M.I.A. from Columbia University.
For more information on A Portrait of California, please visit: www.measureofamerica.org
Contact: John Keaten, JKeaten@groupgordon.com | (212) 784-5701
SOURCE American Human Development Project
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