Episode 9: Moving the Needle on Childhood Poverty in New York | Gov. Kathy Hochul and Kate Breslin, Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy

Gov. Kathy Hochul announces investments in childcare aimed at reducing child poverty

New York State’s first female governor made an announcement at Vivvi, a Brooklyn-based childcare provider.

She discussed several key policies that will help families get access to the childcare they need, both directly and indirectly.

  • Expanded the state's child tax credit to include babies and toddlers under age four
  • An employer-sponsored childcare pilot program where employees split the cost of childcare with state assistance
  • A business navigator to help find available childcare
  • Expansion of welfare housing subsidy to $725 for families in the child welfare system
  • Increases in the minimum wage over the next few years
  • Decrease barriers to accessible

To address the pandemic-related loss of 2,000 childcare programs—and 20,000 available childcare slots—New York State created a $500 million grant program.

  • $2,000 to $3,000 retention bonuses for over 150,000 caregivers across the state
  • Funding for recruitment efforts and sign-on bonuses for new employees

The Child Poverty Reduction Act was passed with near-unanimous legislative support, with a goal of cutting child poverty in half in the next 10 years.

“This is how we're making a down payment on the future. This is how we're showing who we are as a people, keeping our families and kids here, helping employers and helping them grow. So my goal is to make sure that our young people have the very best start in life.”

Kate Breslin on Her Work with the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy

In conjunction with Gov. Hochul’s recent announcements, Kate talked to us about how the Schuyler Center does their work and the current situation in New York State.

The Schuyler Center has been working to eradicate child poverty in New York since 1892, and each year, they analyze the state budget and try to influence what’s in it.

The expansion of New York's child tax credit to include children under four was a huge success for the Schuyler Center and the families of New York. This state-level tax credit will supplement the previous federal Expanded Child Tax Credit, which wasn’t renewed.

The Child Poverty Reduction Act passed with near unanimous legislative support

It will cut childhood poverty in New York State in half in the next 10 years across all segments of the state.

Did you know?

  • New York State has a higher percentage of kids living in poverty than 31 other states
  • Last December, New York City had more than 20,000 children sleeping in shelters
  • Child poverty affects rural, urban, and suburban areas
  • Housing costs in New York are among the highest in the nation
  • Child poverty is devastating for poor kids and often leads to poor health education and health outcomes

Groups like The Schuyler Center and all branches of the state government will work together over the next decade to approach this problem from as many angles as possible—while preventing unintended consequences from their actions when they interact with federal policies.

Kate offers this example:

The federal Child Tax Credit was designed when the minimum wage was between $7 and $8 per hour. Now, with groups fighting to increase minimum wage, they have to make sure New York residents don’t lose the federal tax credit.

Kate offers a phrase that Jeff says should be the “motto of this effort.”

“We were unable to get [an index to grow with the cost of housing]. But we’ll go back at it.”

The Invisible Americans theme by Bridget St. John

Carol Jenkins

Hello, and thanks so much for joining The Invisible Americans Podcast with Jeff Madrick and Carol Jenkins. We address the travesty of child poverty here.

Jeff Madrick

There are nearly 13 million children living in serious material deprivation in America, and we don't see them. They are our invisible Americans, and we plan to change that.

Carol Jenkins

A couple of words about us. The podcast is based on Jeff's book, Invisible Americans: The Tragic Cost of Child Poverty. He's an economics writer, author of seven and co-author of another four books on the American economy.

Jeff Madrick

Carol is an Emmy-winning journalist, activist, and author. Most recently, president of the ERA Coalition working to amend the constitution to include women.

Carol Jenkins

We are longtime colleagues and friends.

The Invisible Americans theme by Bridget St. John

Jeff Madrick 

On today's podcast, we are pleased to present a recent press conference on child poverty by New York Governor Kathy Hochul. Also a conversation with Kate Breslin, head of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy. While much of the attention to reducing child poverty is focused on the work of the federal government, many states are now stepping up to help impoverished children.

Carol Jenkins 

New York State, for example, passed and Governor Hochul signed into law its Child Poverty Reduction Act that declares that poverty must be cut by 50% by the year 2031. On May 31, Governor Hochul announced a $500 million program to add 150,000 childcare workers in the state. She made the announcement at the Vivvi childcare center in Brooklyn, where Charles Bonello is the CEO.

Gov. Kathy Hochul 

It’s so great to be able to come here and get a chance to just embrace what you've done. And when we were in Albany, we talked about policies, and we're going to pass a bill, and it's going to have money. We're going to do a budget.

But then you come out to a place like this, and you see the actualization of ideas that we may have. But here, there's real people whose lives are affected. And so I'm really, really proud to be here. And we know how important childcare is, and if we don't focus on making it more affordable and accessible that our families are going to continue struggling.

And they're already experiencing an affordability crisis. Maybe inflation is topping out a little bit. But it is still shocking when people have to open up their weekly bills or pay their rent and their mortgage. And you know, the cost of everything--the scariest day is when those bills arrive, and you sit at the table and say, “Wow. How is this going to add up?”

And as Charlie said, you think about the cost of childcare. It is the most expensive item on that bill, that monthly bill, more than people's rent, more than their mortgage payment many times. The average cost is about $15,000 a year per child. You throw in a toddler and a baby together, you know, we're approaching $30,000.

Now let's do this. If you're making minimum wage, which we did just increase, we're going up to $17 an hour and indexing for inflation, so we understand--but it is cheaper to go to one of the SUNY colleges.

And I literally just came down from Albany and spoke with the chancellor about the cost of education being high. Getting the kids through kindergarten--college is going to be easy when you think about that. But the sad truth is because of these expenses, we are losing a lot of young families, families who really want to be here we have to work on the cost of housing, which is one of my highest priorities.

But we have to find more access to affordable childcare. And I also know a little bit about this personally. I am the first mother to be the governor of the state.

Thirty-five years ago, I started out my career. All I wanted to do is work on Capitol Hill someday. I was a lawyer. I got the dream job working for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan. But I loved my job, and all of a sudden, our first child came along.

There were no options. There literally were no options for my family. And my husband was just starting out in his career, and we had to decide. You don't give the baby back. We have to make this work. So I put my career on hold to raise the kids because there were no options 35 years ago.

And it pains me to know that all these years later, when that baby is now a parent himself of a delightful one-year-old, that it's still a challenge. Now it's gotten a lot better. And I thank places like Vivvi for creating options and all the places you've opened, it has made a big difference. But I understand what that's like.

And especially the moms who lose that earning power and lose that chance to contribute to Social Security and their long-term pension plans or their benefit plans--we still have over a million women out of work across this country as a result of the pandemic.

And I don't want to give anybody a bad flashback. But remember, even if your kids were in school or in childcare after the early months, one child tests positive, everybody's going home. So where are the kids going? It was just unsustainable. So last year's budget as a brand-new governor, I said, “We have to make up for a lot of lost time here.”

We put $7 billion toward childcare. We brought down out-of-out pocket costs for families. We also focused on expanding eligibility. It used to only be families that earned $55,000 a year could get assistance with childcare, $55,000 a year.

Now we increased it. We increased. I said that's not functional. That doesn't work for families. Eighty-three thousand dollars a year, and in October, it's going up to 92,000. So families up to 92,000 will be eligible. That means over half a million more children will be eligible for support for childcare for their parents.

It's still--we have to double down. We have to our families up. So this Empire State Child Care Tax Credit--we have a tax credit for children five and up. I said, “Wait a minute.” I actually know because I'm a grandma the cost of diapers and formula, the fact that that baby is outgrowing everything every few months, and now she's wearing these little shoes.

So why isn't it from infant, newborn, age four covered as well for that family child tax credit? We just changed that in our budget. That is going to be a huge benefit for families, especially the 600,000 children who's now covered by this, as well. So we're just trying to focus on all the ways we can say we're trying to make it a little bit easier on you.

And the other problem is we have a lot of people that are eligible, but they're not signing up for the childcare subsidies. Well, what's going on there? Well, it turns out, you know, it's probably easier to apply for a  mortgage than it is to apply for childcare assistance in our state.

And I said, this does not work either. So for people who are already eligible and have enrolled in different forms of public assistance, we can say that you're now eligible for childcare assistance. If you've already getting Home Energy Assistance or Medicaid or SNAP programs, I'm going to presume you're making under 92,000. You are eligible. Let's just give you a little break and not make you fill out all that paperwork.

So the other key part that I talked about is how we get more employers to buy into this. I have long said that our economy will only achieve its full potential when we have everyone who wants to work in the workforce.

That means a lot of women, particularly, but parents who have not been able to work. And I tell employers, you want to jumpstart your business, you want to grow, you want to expand, you want to have the most talented people, you need to help families take care of the childcare problem. It's a temporary situation until they hit school. Let's just give them that hand right now.

So we've decided we're going to make it easier for employers to provide assistance. And I think about companies like Micron--you may have heard of Micron, the largest semiconductor manufacturer in this country--we brought them to New York State. They're going to be opening in upstate New York. But we also said as a condition of getting state support, you also need to help with us with childcare. In that sense, you're helping yourselves.

They just invested over $500,000 into the local YWCA to make sure they had the resources they need up in Syracuse for employees to be able to have childcare. That's what I'm talking about. Or calling on others to form a consortium or downtown business district, figure it out or have childcare on site. But what we have right here is one of the greatest examples. Just across the street from Vivvi is Etsy. I've toured Etsy. It's a great place and their headquarters is here in DUMBO. Many Etsy parents have their children enrolled right here.

Think about how easy that is to not have to worry about dropping off somewhere else and backtracking and taking the subway all the different ways I don't want to describe. Right here. You come to work children across the street you can drop in and see them and it works out beautifully. This is what makes so much more sense.

And so I thank Etsy for stepping up, helping parents shoulder this burden. But we also think that more businesses need to follow their lead. So we now have an employer-sponsored childcare pilot program. And we'll have participating employers. The state will help out. The employees will all split the cost of childcare, divide that big number into multiple ways we can help you. And we're going to start this off in three parts of the state.

And also a business navigator for people to see where there's childcare available to them and a new child tax credit. So there's different ways that we're supporting families. But also, we have a lot of time, a lot of slots to make up for. People don't realize this, but we lost slots during the pandemic.

We lost over 2,000 childcare programs, overall 20,000 slots statewide. That's a real problem. We talked about the childcare deserts. This is real. This is not something you read about. This is happening in communities all over our state. So a lot of caregivers couldn't find childcare for their own kids. They couldn't go to work. It just got to be a lot of stress for these families.

So how are we going to attract new people? How are we going to get more people to want to do exactly what Charlie is doing here with Vivvi and all the people are part of this team? How do we get more of this? This is a perfect example of what I'm talking about.

Well, that's why today I'm really proud to announce our $500 million workforce retention grant program. This is how we're going to bolster New York State's childcare workforce. And I want to say the applications for these grants are opening July 13, so get ready. We're going to have over 150,000 caregivers across the state who will be able to benefit from bonuses. This is a retention bonus, $2,000 to $3,000 to help supplement their income, but also support recruitment and sign-on bonuses for new employees. Again, getting people into this incredibly satisfying, incredible field where we're just helping families, helping businesses.

So we want to make sure that we get the money out the door. So help get the word out. Everybody here, please help us because a budget is a statement of a state's priorities, my priorities as governor, and what we're doing to help lift up our families, take care of our kids, help our employers get the incredible workforce that they need, and take care of our providers and caregivers.

This is how we're making a down payment on the future. This is how we're showing who we are as a people, keeping our families and kids here, helping employers and helping them grow. So my goal is to make sure that our young people have the very best start in life.

It starts at a place like this and all over the state of New York, and I'm really proud that we're able to enact this with the leaders in the legislature, the assembly members, and the senators. So I want to thank them.

The Invisible Americans theme by Bridget St. John

Carol Jenkins 

The Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy has been working to eradicate child poverty in New York since 1892. It is a powerful voice for children everywhere. Its current head is Kate Breslin, who kept us posted on recent negotiations on the New York State budget, which--good news--includes an expansion of the state's child tax credit to now include babies and toddlers under age four.

Jeff Madrick 

This means that the child tax credit will reach an additional 600,000 to 900,000 children statewide. Here's her analysis of that and what's in the rest of the budget.

Carol Jenkins 

Kate, thank you so much for being with us. The Schuyler Center has been doing this work since, what, 1872?

Kate Breslin


Carol Jenkins 

That's a long history of working against child poverty and doing, you know, miraculous work. And this year, you all were very much into trying to influence and you did this New York state budget. You know, Jeff has written the book called Invisible Americans on child poverty. We’re big Child Tax Credit fans, so if you could share with us what you think the good things and the bad things were the in the New York state budget.

Kate Breslin 

Each year, we do analyze the state budget, and we try and influence what's in it. And each year, there are decisions made that often will take us one step forward and two steps back with regard to child poverty.

And this year, we had one very big success in New York's child tax credit. So the federal government has a child tax credit that's available to people throughout the nation. And then many states have then added their own state-level child tax credit.

And then in this year's budget, which just closed in May of 2023, we worked to seek an expansion of New York's child tax credit, which really sort of illogically excluded children under four years old. So when it was implemented--I think it was about 18 years ago--it inexplicably excluded those children.

And for years, we've sought to correct what we perceive as an error in excluding children at the very moment that they're most likely to be living in poverty and at the very moment when their brains and bodies are most rapidly developing and they really need the resources. Their families need those resources.

So this year's New York State budget expands the child tax credit to include children under four. And I will say, you know, oftentimes we asked that question, “Well, who's against this?” You know?

Jeff Madrick 

We ask that question here all the time.

Carol Jenkins 


Kate Breslin 

Yeah. You know, in some cases, I would simply say the status quo. It's often hard to change the status quo. In this particular case, it came down to resources because expanding to a new set of people, you know, changing those policy rules, is an expense for the state.

And, of course, I would argue--and our friends and partners did argue--that it's a logical investment. And, yes, it is new money that the state would need to spend. And it's got a better return on investment than many of the other investments that the state chooses to make. Hundreds of thousands of children will now qualify for the New York Child Tax Credit. It's thrilling.

And it also we think, it’s a great--it's an important change to the infrastructure that will allow us to build on going forward. So now that all children up to age 17 are included, we need to also make sure that it reaches--the full credit reaches the poorest people, and that the credit amount becomes more robust and becomes a meaningful amount. The maximum credit amount in New York for the child tax credit is $330 per child per year.

Jeff Madrick 

What's interesting to me, as we read your story and what your organization has done, is that it is a supplement to federal policy that many people don't realize is happening or could happen. People don't realize the part that states are playing, local governments are playing. And to me, it also indicates people are very interested in this tax credit, which has been a hard pull at the federal level. Does your effort contribute to the federal push for a Child Tax Credit, not a more or less conditional one?

Kate Breslin 

Well, I would say, yes. I think you've--I know you've talked about on your on your show before. But the Expanded Federal Child Tax Credit alone cut child poverty by 43% for that one year that it was in effect.

And so that allowed us to bring new attention to New York's child tax credit. So this exciting data that came out--our colleagues at the Columbia University School of Poverty and Social Policy brought forth the New York-specific data related to the federal credit.

And we used that to gain attention to New York state's child tax credit. And at the same time, we know that if we're going to cut child poverty in New York, we really need both. We need both to be strong.

And we need both to really get at the poorest people and get at as many people in a robust way as possible. So our same allies who we worked with on the State Child Tax Credit have gathered together to also work to try to get a reinstatement of the expanded federal credit.

Jeff Madrick 

Well, that's one of our hopes.

Carol Jenkins 

Yes, indeed. We want you to talk about New York because many people, first of all, don't understand how many poor children there are in this state, as you know, living under the extreme poverty levels.

Kate Breslin 

Yeah, it's shocking, especially because New York State--sometimes rightfully so--likes to think of itself as a leader. And I think in many ways we are.

At the same time, we have a higher percentage of kids living in poverty than 31 other states, and this in a state where the cost of living is among the highest in the nation. So yeah, it's really astonishing to think about.

And we have some of the highest child poverty rates in the nation when it comes to our cities. Rochester and Buffalo are in among the top 10, you know, high child poverty rates in the nation. And so we also struggle sometimes in New York with people perceiving something as a New York City problem or not in New York City problem or an urban problem.

Child poverty crosses rural, urban and suburban. And we really worked hard to make that point with our policy leaders so that we could--and we continue to make it and have gotten support from policymakers from all of those areas, you know, across the state in rural, urban, and suburban areas.

And I need to call out that we worked hard to get the passage of the Child Poverty Reduction Act. It passed with near unanimous legislative support with bipartisan, upstate, downstate--I think there were three legislators who did not vote in favor of it in a legislature that has more than 200 members.

Jeff Madrick 

This has taken a lot of educating the public.

Kate Breslin 

Yeah, and, you know, to the title of your book, you know, I think, the way our systems have developed, we are able to be--you know, some of us can drive in our car and drive on the freeway past certain communities and straight to our meetings or our jobs or our dinners. I think we've created this society where we're insulated from each other.

Jeff Madrick 

And poor children do not create the conditions in which they live. They are there for reasons that have nothing to do with them. And sometimes it just doesn't hit people, that they are not responsible.

Carol Jenkins 

And therefore should not be punished, which is something we talk about on this show that there seems to be this great desire to punish people who are living in poverty. You know, inexplicably, that seems to be in the hearts of so many people.

Kate Breslin 

One of the great blessings of this new Child Poverty Reduction Act, we have now a

Child Poverty Reduction Advisory Council, and two of the people on it are people who have recent lived experience. And it's so illuminating to hear directly about what they've experienced and how our systems have not only failed them but have in some cases actively blocked them.

Carol Jenkins 


Kate Breslin

Yeah, it's astonishing.

Carol Jenkins 

Kate, one of the things in your report, which was excellent--I'm going to put the webinar up on our website, so people will be able to watch it. As you and your staff tick through the good things and the things that still needed to be worked on. The welfare housing subsidy increase is an extremely important step because housing in this state is just outrageous. The cost of it, you know, is--I think someone just released a report about New York City housing. The median apartment has gone up to $4,500 a month. So that eliminates quite a few people.

Kate Breslin 

It's astonishing. And with that, homelessness, I mean, our data shows that more than 20,000 children slept in shelters in New York City last December. So yeah, and the part in the budget that you're referring to was again another sort of very long-fought and important victory that it feels so logical.

It's for children and families who are entwined in the child welfare system. And we know there's a very strong correlation between poverty and interaction with the child welfare system where there are times when poverty gets labeled as neglect because of the lack of resources.

And for families within the child welfare system, some of them are able to get a subsidy for their housing. But until this year's budget, that subsidy was a maximum of $300 per month. And in addition, the youth who were aging out of care or the youth or family had to prove that that $300 was going to stabilize their housing, which in New York City or in really in the whole state, that just wasn’t possible.

So we secured a very important increase in that housing subsidy for people who are in the child welfare system from $300 to $725. And I think what we were unable to get was an indexing so that it would grow with the cost of housing, but we’ll go back at it.

Carol Jenkins 

I'm sure you will.

Jeff Madrick 

That should be the motto of this effort.

Carol Jenkins 

Exactly, exactly. We're with you on that. Interestingly, the minimum wage also gets us a slight increase. So tell us about that. And it really depends on whether you're in New York, Westchester or the rest of the state, a different minimum wage.

Kate Breslin 

Yeah, the last time New York State increased its minimum wage, it did something that I think they modeled after another state, where they kind of broke out by regions. And it was New York City and then sort of the environs around New York City and rest of state. And so our past minimum wage increase did that. And so the New York City rate went up the quickest and the most.

Carol Jenkins 

To 15. And so $15, was what we have now.

Kate Breslin 

Yep. And in New York City and environs and then between 14 and 15 in the rest of state. So this year's agreement, I think, the big concern here is that there are so many off-ramps. What they did this year was increase it  by a few dollars over time--not as high as--the advocates were seeking an increase to $21.

Carol Jenkins 

Precisely. That's what all the protests and marches, we're looking at $20 an hour, right.

Kate Breslin 

It creates a lot of off-ramps that allows there to not be an increase. And so we're a little bit concerned that it ends up sort of keeping wages low, even though there is an increase and there are some ways for it to grow. The ways for it to not grow are a little bit concerning.

And then the other piece of that is that the earned income tax credit is another--and like the Child Tax Credit, there's a federal earned income tax credit, and then states have created their own. And because of the way the earned income tax credit was designed, it was designed at the federal level when the minimum wage was between $7 and $8.

So it was designed in such a way that it phases out. So as New York's minimum wage grows, people will lose money from their earned income tax credit. And that's another thing. I think it's important to be thinking about the intersection of all the different policies together, which is really complicated sometimes because we want to be making sure that we're proposing policies that, as you said earlier, get at the poorest--the people living in the deepest poverty--the most people, the people living in the deepest poverty, and that we don't have this unintended consequence of an increase on one side and a reduction on the other.

Carol Jenkins 

So talk to us about how hopeful you are that we will be able in New York State to achieve our goals of cutting child poverty.

Kate Breslin 

We have this goal of cutting child poverty in half in the next 10 years. And I think exactly what you're doing and we're doing is what needs to happen because the commitment, the law, which has, you know, been voted on and signed by the governor, but all it is, is another tool.

And so it's up to all of us to really, really band together to figure out how do we use it. If we're not bringing attention to it and holding our elected people to account--you know, you voted for this. It's law.

And, of course, you know, shining the light on the implications of not doing it, which are ultimately more adults who have been deprived and traumatized and, you know, have gone without, often, you know, we know that kids who grew up in poverty have poor health outcomes typically. They're more likely to have poor educational outcomes. So it's up to all of us to be ringing the bell, joining together, holding hands to make sure that we're holding our policymakers accountable.

Jeff Madrick 

We didn't have time to talk about all of that. So I just wanted to say, child poverty is devastating for poor kids and often painful--physically, emotionally. And we just have to keep this in mind that a country cannot be decent and allow itself to have about the highest child poverty rate in the rich world.

Kate Breslin 

And that's the point we make, too, that our high child poverty rate is a policy decision. We have the resources. We know what works. And we need to just find the political will to do it.

Carol Jenkins 

Kate, thank you so much for being with us. Thank you for everything that you do. And anything we can do to help you, we are here.

Kate Breslin

Right on. I'll be back.

Jeff Madrick 

Thank you, Kate.

Kate Breslin

Thank you.

The Invisible Americans theme by Bridget St. John

Jeff Madrick

History will judge the nation's decency in various ways, one of them will surely be the well-being of all its children. American neglect of its poor children is both inexplicable and deplorable. By basic measures, it has the highest child poverty rate among rich nations in the world. A generation of careful academic research has shown how damaging this has been to children's cognition, health, nutrition, and future wages. And 2021 Congress and the president adopted an enlightened program that expanded the Child Tax Credit and made it available to almost all children no matter their race, ethnicity, or how little their parents earned. The results were stunning, cutting the poverty rate by half. But Congress refused to renew the program. In coming months, this podcast will examine the future of the Child Tax Credit and other key policies to protect children from the destructiveness of poverty. We are dedicated to restoring a bright and optimistic future for all children in this land long celebrated for equal opportunity.

Carol Jenkins 

Our thanks to New York Governor Kathy Hochul and Kate Breslin of the Schuyler Center, who are looking at child poverty in the state of New York. You will find additional information about the childcare expansion applications--open July 13--and the full report on the budget for the Schuyler Center on our website. That's www.theinvisible americans.com. Thank you so much for listening today. Jeff and I will see you the next time.

The Invisible Americans theme by Bridget St. John

Gov. Kathy Hochul

Governor of New York

Kathy Hochul is the 57th and first female Governor of New York State.

She began her career in public service on her local Town Board, before serving as Erie County Clerk and as a Member of Congress for New York’s 26th Congressional District.

As Lieutenant Governor, she chaired the statewide Regional Economic Development Councils, and served as co-chair of the State’s Heroin and Opioid Task Force, Women’s Suffrage Commission, and Child Care Availability Task Force.

Since being sworn into office in 2021, Governor Hochul has led by establishing a bold vision for New York’s future. Governor Hochul has spearheaded comprehensive policies and initiatives to help New Yorkers and their families, while building an economy that is stronger and more inclusive than before. Governor Hochul is making historic investments in the people, places, and things to make that happen – from healthcare workers, small businesses, and working families to infrastructure, education, and workforce development. And in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s reckless decisions to strip away abortion rights and strike down commonsense gun regulations, Governor Hochul led the charge in Albany to protect reproductive health care and strengthen gun safety laws, ensuring New York continues to stand as a beacon of hope and freedom for the rest of the nation.

Governor Hochul was born and raised in Western New York. She and her husband, Bill Hochul, are the proud parents of two children and one granddaughter.

Kate Breslin

President & CEO of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy (SCAA)

KATE BRESLIN  is the President & CEO of the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy (SCAA). With Kate’s leadership, Schuyler Center is building upon its 150-year legacy as a strong, independent voice and coalition-builder. Schuyler Center holds government accountable and helps to shape public debate around policies that affect New Yorkers, with a particular focus on people and communities experiencing poverty and inequity. Kate has spent her career analyzing and advocating in support of thoughtful policy solutions that improve the lives of people in the U.S. and abroad.

With Kate at the helm, Schuyler Center led the initiative resulting in New York’s Child Poverty Reduction Act, signed into law in December 2021. Kate plays a leadership role in several statewide coalitions, including Medicaid Matters NY, and she is frequently invited to lead and participate in policy-focused initiatives and workgroups. Kate served as the Director of Policy for New York’s primary care association, CHCANYS, directing initiatives to improve health care access in underserved communities. While in California, she was Project Director for the California Budget Project, analyzing state budget and tax policies, and has also served in county government. Kate has led and worked in relief and development projects in several African nations, including serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Sierra Leone. Kate holds Masters Degrees in both Public Health and City and Regional Planning.