The Insight Center develops tools and metrics to help move the national dialogue toward a productive and inclusive discussion of economic security or all – ultimately informing policy to improve lives.

Unlike the official, yet outdated, federal poverty measures, the metrics we and our partners promote use publicly available data sources to quantify the actual costs of meeting the basic needs for working families by county – without public or private assistance.

Family Needs Calculator (formerly the Self Sufficiency Standard)

Our organizing and advocacy work focuses on what it actually costs to make ends meet in communities across California, as defined by the Family Needs Calculator for California, a measure of the income needed to cover basic needs available for 156 different family types in each of California’s 58 counties.

Elder Index

Similarly, the Elder Economic Security Index is the only county-specific measure of the minimum income necessary to cover all of an older adult’s basic expenses—housing, food, healthcare and transportation. The California Elder Index is available for all 58 counties across the state and the City of Los Angeles.

Metrics Matter

This work ultimately resulted in the Metrics Matter innovation network for national, state and local leaders promoting economic security.

Experts of Color Network

At the core of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative is the Experts of Color Network which includes over 180 of the nation’s leading Native American, Asian-American, African-American, Latino, and Native Hawaiian scholars, advocates, community practitioners, policy analysts, researchers, private sector leaders, philanthropists and government officials in the asset-building field.