Sen. Sherrod Brown, Rep. Raul Grijlava, Rep. Jamaal Bowman, and a panel of disability and seniors’ advocates talk about why it’s so important that SSI — a long-neglected income assistance program for seniors and people with disabilities — be updated as part of upcoming recovery legislation. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes.

This week, Off-Kilter’s bringing you a conversation Rebecca moderated at The Century Foundation earlier this week, on the historic opportunity to make long overdue improvements to Supplemental Security Income as part of #BuildBackBetter — featuring Sen Sherrod Brown, Rep. Raul Grijalva, and Rep. …


Rebecca talks to the authors of Broke in America: Seeing, Understanding, and Ending U.S. Poverty — Joanne Goldblum and Colleen Shaddox. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes.

Nearly 40 million people in the U.S. live below the official poverty line — which in 2021 is just $26,000 for a family of four. Low-income families are everywhere — from cities to rural communities. But while poverty is all too often portrayed as a personal failure, it’s actually the result of bad public policy choices. …


With a wave of hysteria around so-called labor shortages dominating the headlines — and Republican governors moving to cut off access to pandemic jobless benefits in their states — Rebecca sat down with the Economic Policy Institute’s Heidi Shierholz for a reality check on what’s going on in the labor market right now. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes.

The April jobs data released by the Department of Labor last week spurred an avalanche of hysteria and conservative hand-wringing about supposedly widespread labor shortages, with many on the right pointing to pandemic jobless benefits as the bogeyman.

In a particularly troubling…


Rebecca talks to state leaders from Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and California behind transformative wins on “clean slate” and fair chance licensing reforms in the states. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes.

As leaders at all levels of government work to “build back better” — and to address the nation’s legacy of racial injustice and persistent racial inequality — removing barriers to employment for workers with records is more urgently needed than ever amid the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and downturn, to ensure not only a full but an equitable recovery that does not leave tens of millions of system-impacted…


As Off-Kilter’s #SecondChanceMonth series continues, to mark 4/20, Rebecca talks to Adam Vine, cofounder of Cage Free Cannabis & Cage Free Repair, and Felicia Carbajal of National Expungement Week. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes.

“The War on Drugs has disproportionately harmed communities of color. People have lost jobs, education, housing, their liberty, their families, and their lives to this War. Now they deserve equity, justice, and repair: ownership of cannabis businesses, full and automatic expungement, and community reinvestment of tax revenue and corporate philanthropy.”

As momentum for marijuana legalization and decriminalization builds across the U.S., this is the vision of…


Rebecca talks to Desmond Meade and Sheena Meade about their work to restore voting rights and economic security for people impacted by criminal records — and the importance of centering the leadership of people directly impacted by our broken criminal legal system in this work. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes.

For this week’s pod, Off-Kilter continues our Second Chance Month series with two of the directly impacted leaders driving transformational change on second chance policies and rights restoration in the states, who also happen to be a powerhouse husband-wife team: Desmond Meade, executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition…


Rebecca talks to two of the leading academics behind a new line of research on the “second chance gap” — whose research on who’s getting left behind by hard-to-navigate expungement systems has been fueling state momentum to make criminal record-clearing automatic for everyone who’s eligible. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes.

Following decades of mass incarceration and over-criminalization in the U.S., somewhere between 70 million and 100 million people — or 1 in 3 U.S. adults — now have some type of criminal record. And in the digital era, with 9 in 10 employers, 4 in 5 landlords, and 3 in…


A deep-dive on what it will take to ensure low-income individuals and families can actually access the new child allowance and other income-boosting provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act — to ensure that the law’s promised poverty reductions transfer from spreadsheets into real life. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes.

Poverty researchers estimate that the income-boosting provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act, which President Biden signed into law last month, will cut child poverty in half, and that overall poverty in the U.S. will fall by one-third over the next year. But should we expect those promised reductions in…


Rebecca talks to Jeremie Greer — co-founder and co-executive director of Liberation in a Generation — about the case for centering grassroots leaders of color within the anti-monopoly movement, and reimagining the antitrust movement’s work through a racial justice lens. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes.

“The year 2020 was painful and demanding for almost everyone, and it brought distinct darkness and despair to people of color. A global pandemic, which has killed people of color at an alarmingly higher rate, forced “essential workers” of color to risk illness and death to keep the gears of a sputtering economy churning. In…


Rebecca talks to Dorian Warren, co-chair of the Economic Security Project, and Aisha Nyandoro, creator of the Magnolia Mother’s Trust, about the growing evidence calling for guaranteed income policies in the U.S. — and why now is the moment to finally leave the 1990s-era “work requirements” debate in the history books. Subscribe to Off-Kilter on iTunes.

Results are in from the first year of a universal basic income experiment in Stockton, California, which gave randomly selected residents $500 per month with no strings attached — and they’re striking. The income boost improved recipients’ employment prospects, economic stability, physical and mental…

Off-Kilter Podcast

Off-Kilter is a podcast about poverty and inequality — and everything they intersect with. Hosted by Rebecca Vallas and powered by CAP Action.

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