PPI Releases "Pathways to Ending Poverty" Report

Before a standing-room-only crowd, the Community Advocates Public Policy Institute introduced its Pathways to Ending Poverty Project results on September 10th. David Riemer, Senior Fellow at the Public Policy Institute, presented the project’s approach and results.

Four years ago, the Pathways to Ending Poverty Project set out to uncover what it would take to greatly reduce poverty in Wisconsin.  The project zeroed in on four specific policies that would dramatically reduce poverty in Wisconsin:

1. A tax credit for seniors and adults with disabilities;
2. A Transitional Jobs program for unemployed jobseekers;
3. A higher minimum wage for workers; and
4. A reformed Earned Income Tax Credit for low earners.

The Public Policy Institute (PPI) retained the Urban Institute, an independent policy analysis center, to evaluate the proposed new policies using economic modeling.  The Urban Institute’s "Reducing Poverty in Wisconsin" report confirms that implementing the four-part policy package developed by PPI would dramatically reduce poverty in Wisconsin by between 58% and 81%.

The Urban Institute analysis concluded that the overall policy package would raise at least 250,000 Wisconsinites out of poverty, driving poverty down to below 3.5 percent … and as low as 1.5 percent (depending on full versus partial participation in the proposed policy programs).

In Wisconsin, we can no longer say that poverty reduction policies do not work, or that no one yet knows what it takes to greatly reduce poverty. No other proposal to achieve these goals has been offered, much less verified.

The Community Advocates Public Policy Institute aims to greatly reduce poverty in Milwaukee and throughout Wisconsin while shifting the debate about poverty to a serious, evidence-based discussion.  The Pathways to Ending Poverty Project is led by David Riemer, Senior Fellow at the Public Policy Institute, and Conor Williams, Economic Policy Analyst.

The remaining work of the Pathways to Ending Poverty Project is to organize advocates and constituents, communicate the policy package and its dramatic impact on reducing poverty to local and national policymakers, and work with them over time to translate the specific policy changes into law.

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