Columbia Sociologist to Unveil California Poverty Rates

By Maddie Bunting |

On Thursday, December 10th, the Blum Initiative on Global and Regional Poverty, a research center of the UCR School of Public Policy, will be hosting an exclusive discussion with Zach Parolin of Columbia University about the California’s poverty rates during COVID-19, including poverty rates had the CARES Act not been passed.  

Parolin has developed a new method to estimate monthly poverty rates during the pandemic and his national-level measures have been featured extensively in the New York Times and Washington Post. This event marks the first time his method is applied to estimate state poverty rates and the release of his California estimates.

According to his profile, Parolin is a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia University’s Center on Poverty & Social Policy. The event is co-hosted by Golden State Opportunity, and will be moderated by David Brady, professor of public policy and director of the Blum Initiative.

Parolin’s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with county, state, and advocacy leaders:

  • Amy Everitt, president, Golden State Opportunity
  • V. Manuel Perez, supervisor, Riverside County District 4
  • Toni Symonds, chief consultant, California State Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development, and the Economy

Those interested in attending can register for the online event via Zoom

“It’s vital to understand the effects that COVID-19 has had on poverty in our state,” said senior UCR public policy major Maya Prasad. “I look forward to Dr. Parolin’s data and learning more about potential policy solutions to mitigate this problem.”


The UCR Blum Initiative on Global and Regional Poverty is dedicated to advancing our understanding of poverty – in Inland Southern California and abroad – through world-class faculty and graduate student research, service, teaching, and academic and community events. We operate under the guidance of an interdisciplinary steering committee and have nearly forty affiliated faculty and graduate student (master’s and doctoral) researchers committed to the study of poverty from the social sciences, natural sciences, engineering, and humanities. Learn more via