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Pre-Conference Amuse Bouche: Measure of America's Latest Research

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

For this year’s Annual Conference NCG is bringing in a slew of experts to enrich our conversation about the shifting Bay Area landscape and its effects on individuals and communities.

One of the experts we’re bringing in is Measure of America, a project of the Social Science Research Council that provides research on well-being and opportunity in America, to kick off our conference.

For their Morning Plenary presentation, Measure of America will pull information from their recent publication A Portrait of California to set the stage for our day-long conversation on the future of our region.

Whet Your Appetite

To get a taste for the kind of work Measure of America does, have a listen to this conversation between Marketplace host David Brancaccio and Measure of America Co-Director Kristen Lewis which aired this morning.

Focusing on Measure of America’s latest publication Geographies of Opportunity: Ranking Well-Being By Congressional District, David asked Kristen where in the U.S. you can find the top congressional districts versus the bottom. The answer happens to be right in our backyard.

Interestingly the highest and lowest ranking districts are both in one state—California. So topping the chart is California’s 18th district—it’s a Bay Area district that includes Silicon Valley.

And at the very bottom is California’s 21st district which includes parts of Bakersfield and the Central Valley. So this area is an agricultural powerhouse that feeds the whole country, but hundreds of thousands of people living there have to rely on food stamps to put food on their own tables.