Reinvest in California Seniors to Boost Local Economies
Jerry Higgs suffered a career-ending back injury on a construction job. Two surgeries later, he's facing a lifetime of pain killers and making ends meet on California's below-poverty level SSI payments for the aged, blind and disabled. He joined Hunger Action Los Angeles because, as he says, "I was tired of not having a voice."
"How are we supposed to live? Rent is high in LA, we have to choose whether to buy groceries or medicine. I've been going to Sacramento since 2007. This year, we talked to my Assemblyman, and he was all for us," says Higgs. "He said he knows people on SSI really need it, with what's going on in the streets, people going hungry today in Los Angeles. Says he's trying to help."
This month, California legislators will finalize the state's first sunny-day budget since the Great Recession officially ended and voters approved Proposition 30 to stabilize the state budget. At the Insight Center, we'll be hoping that they focus on the 1.3 million Californians like Jerry Higgs, and the local economies these SSI recipients live in (source). Our Elder Index measures poverty more accurately than federal poverty levels, but also points toward a more sustainable future economy if we lift people out of poverty.