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Study shows extreme wealth gap for LA’s children

Children in Los Angeles are living in separate worlds when it comes to wealth.

A new report from the Public Policy Institute of California looked at poverty rates among young children in the state. Researchers found that the biggest gap in California is between two different parts of L.A. County.

The area with the least amount of poverty is in the southwestern part of the county — Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach and Manhattan Beach. Only about four percent of young children between the ages of zero and five live on incomes below California’s poverty measure.

In the southeastern part of the county, nearly 68 percent of young children live in poverty.

Jessica Bartholow, a legislative advocate for the Western Center on Law and Poverty, said the disparities show that different strategies may be needed to address poverty in different areas.

Bartholow said the vast wealth disparities in California can also make it difficult to advocate for anti-poverty programs.

“If you don’t see poverty, it doesn’t seem like a problem you have to fix,” she said, adding that the current legislature, which has several leaders who grew up in and around poverty, has been receptive to fixing the problems.

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