A Portrait of California, 2021-2022
Kristen Lewis, Rebecca Gluskin, Laura Laderman, Alex Powers, Anna Aguiar Kosicki, Jonas Johnson, Matt Zinman, Rubén Tarajano, Amber Grof, Kenyer Malcolm, Kerry Wong, Kristie Sanchez, Ronin Rodkey
Publication: Measure of America of the Social Science Research Council
Date: November 2021
With the devastation of the pandemic, we have an opportunity to correct long-standing inequalities that impact our communities and ensure that all Californians benefit from our immense progress.
This study, A Portrait of California 2021–2022, by Measure of America gives us the tools to better identify existing inequities and address them. The study is an in-depth, informative look into the realities Californians of all backgrounds and circumstance experience, and highlights where the state succeeds and where it could improve.
Studies like this one prove to be invaluable tools for policymakers to understand how the state has changed over time—to know, using data, who has been left behind and how to better serve communities in need. They also help inform government’s policy response to important problems and determine innovative solutions. The results of this report are clear—the overall well-being of Californians is above the national average. We live longer and enroll in school and earn college degrees at higher rates than the rest of America. However, this progress is not uniform, and the results reveal growing disparities across gender, racial groups, ethnic groups, and regions within our state.
Two issues that remain challenging for a vast majority of Californians are the lack of affordable housing and the growing number of people who are experiencing homelessness. My colleagues in the Legislature and I are committed to addressing both of these growing crises. Housing must continue to be central to our efforts as we strive to make California more affordable for all. The Legislature has made significant progress in advancing access to housing in the past several years, and especially this year, with several key pieces of legislation that were included in our Senate housing package. Working closely with housing-justice advocates and community and business leaders, we have taken steps to grow our housing supply, as well as establish programs that provide affordable housing options and invest resources in homelessness programs through historic investments in our state budget.
Human dignity is a right, not a privilege, and we know stable and affordable housing is vital for both California’s working families and our state’s economy. As the work to make the California Dream a reality for all continues, I would encourage us all to use this report as a meaningful resource in our conversations to advance California’s future.