City’s Poor Look Different Through New Assessment (City Limits Weekly)

There’s nothing more exciting than a new formula for calculating the poverty rate! Or at least so says New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who last week became the latest to put forth his own ideas (okay, actually those of Mark Levitan, a longtime NYC policy analyst) for revamping the poverty line. And there’s even a chance it’ll end up making a difference in policy towards the poor. Kinda. Maybe.

The new poverty measure unveiled by city officials at the recent NAACP convention presents New York City with a yardstick not just to count the city’s poor, but also to gauge the effect of anti-poverty measures and gain new perspective on New York’s residents – including the realization that poverty among the elderly and the employed is significantly worse than previously recognized.

The question now, say both city officials and poverty experts, is how the new statistic will be incorporated into city policies… [read more]