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Measuring Poverty Better: The Real Cost Measure in California 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018
11:30am - 2:00pm PST
The California Endowment Center for Healthy Communities
1000 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Members: $0.00
Non-Members: $25.00
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Poverty remains a persistent problem, afflicting working families across the state. For many, the California dream has devolved into a nightmare. We invite you to join us, in partnership with United Ways of California, in a conversation for further understanding where interventions to address poverty would have the most impact.

In June 2018, United Ways of California released Struggling to Stay Afloat: The Real Cost Measure in California 2018, a new poverty report that conveys the real cost of living for California households. In contrast to the official poverty measure, the Real Cost Measure takes into account the costs of housing, childcare, health care, transportation and other basic needs the official poverty measure ignores.

Join us for a broad overview on what the Real Cost Measure looks like throughout Southern California, its impact on vulnerable populations and new interactive tools such as our household budgets calculator, interactive maps and more that could inform grantmaking.           

Following the presentation, we will engage in a conversation on opportunities and challenges in light of the report’s findings with foundation leaders.




11:30 am: Networking and Lunch
12:00 pm: Program Starts
  2:00 pm: Program Concludes




Elise Buik, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Los Angeles

In March 2005, Elise Buik made history by becoming the first female President and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. After seven years as Marketing Manager for a medical software company, Elise joined United Way in 1994. Under her leadership, United Way launched its strategic 10-year action plan, Creating Pathways Out of Poverty. The plan focuses on three critical issues: ending homelessness by providing housing stability, improving educational achievement, and helping families gain economic mobility. Elise’s other roles include the City of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Board, a Senior Fellowship at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, a place on the advisory board for the USC School of Policy, Planning and Development Master of Public Administration program, and the boards of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce. She was honored with the “2009 Nonprofit CEO of the Year” award from the Los Angeles Business Journal, the “Leadership Award” at Peace Over Violence’s 37th Annual Humanitarian Awards and the “Non-profit Leadership & Responsibility Award” at the 28th annual Edmund G. “Pat” Brown Institute of Public Affairs Awards Dinner.


Henry Gascon, Director of Programs and Policy Development, United Ways of California

Henry Gascon is Director, Program and Policy Development at United Ways of California. In this role, he conducts policy research and analysis, leads communication strategies and assists with organizational operations. He is a co-author of Struggling to Get By: The Real Cost Measure in California 2015, which introduces a new poverty measure that conveys the true cost of living in California's communities and promotes the Human Development Index, which discusses well-being in health, education and financial stability. Previously, Henry was a Policy Analyst at Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority and the Director of NPower Los Angeles, a social service organization that provides technology education services for the Southern California nonprofit sector. He holds Bachelor degrees in History and International Relations from Holy Names University in Oakland, California and a Master’s in Public Administration specializing in policy analysis from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.



John E. Kobara, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, California Community Foundation

After serving 5 years on the Board of Directors, John Kobara was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the California Community Foundation in 2008. He currently serves on the boards of the MLK Community Hospital Foundation, Japanese American National Museum, LA Kitchen, Coro-Southern California, SCGA Foundation, and Walden University. He was a Coro Fellow in LA and earned degrees from UCLA, USC and Occidental College.





Pete Manzo, President and CEO, United Ways of California

Pete Manzo is President & CEO of United Ways of California, which improves health, education and financial results for low-income children and families by enhancing and coordinating the community impact and advocacy work of California’s United Ways. Previously, Pete was Director of Strategic Initiatives for The Advancement Project, a civil rights “action tank” that advances equity and expands opportunity for low income and vulnerable people, Executive Director and General Counsel of the Center for Nonprofit Management, where he directed the expansion of the Center's information, training, consulting, technology and search and compensation services to nonprofits; and Directing Attorney of Community Development Programs for Public Counsel. He is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley; he also is a graduate of the London School of Economics, where he received a Master's degree in Political Sociology, and the University of Notre Dame, where he received a Bachelor's degree in Government.


Vera A. Moore, Vice President, Community Relations Manager, Office of Nonprofit Engagement, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Vera A. Moore is a Vice President in the Office of Nonprofit Engagement (ONE) at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Vera works closely with community advocates and JPMorgan Chase senior leaders to build initiatives and relationships that advance access to opportunity and economic mobility. Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase, Vera served as the Director of the Urban Youth Empowerment Program at the National Urban League, where she oversaw a $10 million workforce development, education, and training program targeted to Opportunity Youth living in high-poverty, high-crime communities nationwide. She also managed the Consulting and Technical Assistance Division at Seedco, where she provided capacity building services to foundations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations focused on workforce development, asset building and work supports. A former Manhattan Borough President’s Office Community Planning Fellow, Vera holds a Master’s of Urban Planning from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2015, Vera completed a competitive fellowship with Coro Leadership New York. She also completed the African American Board Leadership Institute’s Board Leadership Program in 2018.


Event in partnership with:


SCG members: No cost to participate
Non-members: $25

Who May Attend
SCG members and eligible non-members

Register online (SCG members, log in to your account)

Accommodations for People with Disabilities
If you have a disability and require accommodation in order to fully participate in this activity, please contact our programs team at [email protected] or (213) 680-8866. You will be contacted by someone from our staff to discuss your specific needs.