When we think of California, visions of sandy beaches, Silicon Valley and snowcapped mountains above fertile golden valleys spring to mind. When thinking of widespread American poverty, however, it is easy to consider it someone else's problem.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, however, approximately 8.9 million Californians, roughly one quarter of the state's population, live in poverty. This is by far the highest rate in America. Unemployment is well above the national average, yet according to a recent study, five of the top 10 most expensive American cities are here in the Golden State. It is time we come to terms with the poverty epidemic in our own backyard.