This research brief presents initial results from the newly-released California Poverty Measure (CPM). The CPM, which is jointly produced by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, is our best estimate of economic disadvantage across and within California. It improves on the official poverty measure (OPM) and the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM) in ways that will be discussed in some detail below. The CPM can be used to provide county-level estimates of poverty, to explore how current policy is affecting poverty rates, and to examine the potential impact of certain proposed changes in policy. Because California will be facing key decisions in the future about how to address poverty, we need to be able to assess how proposed changes in its safety net will affect Californians. The CPM is a partial but important step in that direction.