The livestream below will begin at the time of the event.

The U.S. first developed the Official Poverty Measure (OPM) in the 1960s, and since that time, the measure has drastically underestimated poverty, including a recent announcement of a national 10.5 percent poverty rate. Yet, the OPM is still used to determine eligibility for federal programs and aid amounts to communities. Because of our reliance on this outdated measure, the full scope of American poverty is grossly misunderstood and misstated. 

Join us on Thursday, October 1, 2:00–3:00 PM EST as we discuss a new report focused on why the OPM is woefully out of date, the changes needed to the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), and how the federal government can more accurately measure poverty in America, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please register to obtain the Zoom link.


  • Moderator: Jeff Madrick, author, senior fellow at The Century Foundation, and director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative
  • Eileen Appelbaum, co-director, Center for Economic and Policy Research
  • Shawn Fremstad, senior policy fellow, Center for Economic and Policy Research
  • Sandra Killett, activist and social justice organizer 
  • Anne E. Price, president, Insight Center for Community Economic Development.
  • Arloc Sherman, vice president of data analysis and research, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
  • Andrew Stettner, senior fellow, The Century Foundation

Presented by The Century Foundation’s Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative and the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Speaker Bios

Jeff Madrick is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation and director of the Bernard L. Schwartz Rediscovering Government Initiative. He is editor of Challenge Magazine, visiting professor of humanities at The Cooper Union, and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books. He is a former economics columnist for the New York Times. Before Invisible Americans, Madrick published Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World (Knopf) in 2014, which makes a comprehensive case against prevailing mainstream economic thinking. He is the author of a half dozen other books, including Taking America (Bantam) and The End of Affluence (Random House), both of which were New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Taking America also was chosen by Business Week as one of the ten best books of the year.  He edited a book of public policy essays, Unconventional Wisdom (The Century Foundation) and also authored the book Why Economies Grow (Basic Books/Century) and Age of Greed (Knopf). His book The Case for Big Government (Princeton) won a PEN America non-fiction award.

Eileen Appelbaum is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, Washington, DC, Fellow at Rutgers University Center for Women and Work, and Visiting Professor at the University of Leicester, UK. Prior to joining CEPR, she held positions as Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Women and Work at Rutgers University and as Professor of Economics at Temple University. She holds a PhD in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. She has 20 years of experience carrying out empirical research on the effects of public policies and company practices on outcomes for companies and workers. She studies work processes and work-life practices of organizations and their implications for organizational effectiveness and for the quality of jobs.

Shawn Fremstad is a senior policy fellow at the Center for Economic Policy and Research. Fremstad has worked in direct service at the local level, policy advocacy at the state level, and policy research and analysis at the federal level. Previous positions include senior policy analyst and deputy director of income security at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. After graduating from the University of Minnesota Law School, he worked as a civil legal services lawyer in Minnesota for seven years. His writing has appeared in The American Prospect, The Nation, National Journal, and other publications, and he has been quoted or cited in a range of publications including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, All Things Considered, Vox, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The Guardian. He was a Ford Foundation Public Voices Fellow and is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance.

Sandra Killett is a passionate and well-respected African American Social Justice Organizer Consultant, Founder of We All Rise and a Parent Advocate in New York City.  Ms. Killett strongly believes in using a strength-based approach in working with families involved in the child welfare system.  Her goal is to prevent the unnecessary removal of children from their families and communities. She is a single mother who has raised two sons on her own, who are now 27 and 25 years of age. Ms. Killett has served on the Casey Family Programs Advisory Committee since 2013 and received the Casey Excellence for Children Award in 2015 for her leadership and dedication to improving outcomes for families.  She has over 25 years of advocacy and organizing experience in New York City. She has mobilized parents to use their voices to transform the child welfare system and its policies.  She has presented on multiple occasions to the Senate Finance Committee, House Ways and Means Committee and to individual policymakers in Washington, DC.  She has served on numerous committees and boards, formerly a board member of Community Voices Heard and Community Voices Heard Power addressing socioeconomic issues as it relates to poverty and welfare reform and received the Shirley Chisholm Award in 2017. 

Anne E. Price is the first woman president of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development. She previously served as director of the Closing the Racial Wealth Gap Initiative at Insight. Anne was one of the first national thought leaders to examine and push for narrative change in addressing race, gender and wealth inequality.  She has worked in the public sector on a wide range of issues including child welfare, hunger, welfare reform, workforce development, community development and higher education. Anne’s work has been featured in the New York Times, The Nation, The Washington Post, The Mercury News, Citylab, O Magazine, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review and other publications. She has appeared on MSNBC and Noticias Telemundo. Anne is a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute in New York. She also currently serves as board chair at United for a Fair Economy in Boston.  Anne holds a BA in economics from Hampton University and a master’s degree in urban affairs and public policy from the Milano School of Management and Urban Policy in New York City.

Arloc Sherman is Vice President of Data Analysis and Research at Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Sherman’s work focuses on family income trends, income support policies, and the causes and consequences of poverty.  He has written extensively about the effectiveness of government poverty-reduction policies, the influence of economic security programs on children’s healthy development, the depth of poverty, tax policy for low-income families, welfare reform, economic inequality, material hardship, parental employment, and the special challenges affecting rural areas. He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences Committee on National Statistics Panel to Review and Evaluate the 2014 Survey of Income and Program Participation’s Content and Design.  Prior to joining the Center in 2004, Sherman worked for 14 years at the Children’s Defense Fund and was previously at the Center for Law and Social Policy. His book Wasting America’s Future was nominated for the 1994 Robert F. Kennedy Book Award.

Andrew Stettner is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation. His career as a non-profit leader spans 20 years of experience modernizing workforce protections and social insurance programs at every level, including community organizing, research, policy, and program development. At the National Employment Law Project, he spearheaded a decade-long effort to realign the unemployment insurance safety net with the needs of the modern workforce that culminated with a multi-billion dollar package of reforms enacted in the Recovery Act in 2009. In 2010, he was elected to the National Academy of Social Insurance in recognition of his leadership in the field and received Jewish Funds for Justice Cornerstone Award for outstanding contribution to social justice by leaders under the age of 40. After working at NELP, he took his research on low take up of social insurance into action designing and implementing multi-million dollar benefits enrollment initiatives first at Seedco and then at Single Stop USA. He has published dozens of policy reports and been frequently cited in media outlets across the country. He is a graduate of Columbia University where he earned a B.A. in Psychology, and also holds an M.P.P. in Public Policy from Georgetown University.