California Kids Have a Right to Health Care

Unless Congress acts now, California could lose hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). About 1.3 million kids in California rely on CHIP for everything from prescriptions to emergency services—and without federal funds, their health is at risk.

Congress let funding for CHIP expire in September, and since then, legislators haven’t made a serious effort to restore funding for the program. That’s a problem, because California estimates that its CHIP funding will run out by January.

It’s important to know that California is legally obligated to pay for CHIP when federal funding runs out, and state lawmakers have no idea where they will get that money on short notice. To put it more bluntly: There is no backup plan.

End Child Poverty in California is petitioning Congress to keep financing CHIP, and we need your signature. Over the course of 20 years, the program has decreased the rate of uninsured children in California from 13.9 percent to 4.5 percent. We can’t let that number rise again.

CHIP makes health care affordable for millions of California families:

The program also helps children grow into thriving, financially secure adults:

Without federal money for CHIP, our state could reverse the progress we’ve made for low- and middle-income children—and that’s unacceptable. Please add your signature to our petition and remind Congress that California kids deserve good health.


Giving Tuesday California Anti-poverty Give Guide

The holidays are a time of joy and gratitude, but they also come with challenges. You can make a meaningful difference for kids in California this Giving Tuesday with donations to our partners doing amazing work in local communities to help kids and families overcome adversity and thrive. Use this season to make a big difference for vulnerable Californians!

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County: Meeting people of all backgrounds and faiths where they are with a holistic approach to care-taking is critical for our partner Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County. (And they serve over 38,000 people each year!) Your holiday season donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000. Click here to find out more.

 

Catholic Charities San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo: Donate or volunteer your time this holiday season in the Bay Area! Visit the Catholic Charities San Francisco site to find out about their extensive children and youth services, their homelessness and housing programs, and how they are transforming lives for children, families, and individuals. The first $15,000 in donations on Giving Tuesday will be matched.

 

Children’s Defense Fund of California: The Beat the Odds Scholarship program raises money for promising teens who have overcome amazing odds. The Children’s Defense Fund of California highlights their incredible stories to inspire us to change the odds for all kids. Find out more and donate directly to the scholarship fund here.

 

Common Sense Kids Action: State- and national-level advocacy on behalf of kids is crucial so that all kids 0-5 have access to vital education and health resources, positive digital media experiences, and the opportunity to succeed through reducing child poverty. Common Sense’s advocacy platform is building a movement dedicated to making kids our nation’s top priority. Donate by clicking here.

 

LA Conservation Corps: The LA corps has an ingenious way to give–choose practical items on Amazon that will go directly to youth in their job-training program that helps transform 500 lives each year. Nothing beats poverty better than a good job. Click here to shop, and click here find out more about LA Conservation Corps.

 

National Foster Youth Institute: Changing outcomes for foster youth will only happen when youth voices are amplified. Started in California, the National Youth Foster Institute is committed to transforming the child welfare system into a beacon of hope. Every dollar donated on November 28 from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. EST will be matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Find out more here, and donate here.

 

Para los Niños / For the Children: Founded on Skid Row in 1980, Para Los Niños raises children out of poverty and supports their future through positive educational opportunities and wrap-around support in Los Angeles. All through November and December, 10% of proceeds from Lucky Brand gift card purchases go to Para los Niños. Click here to find out more.

 

SHIELDS for Families: Want to double your impact? SHIELDS for Families has a challenge grant from the Good Hope Medical Foundation: check it out and donate here. SHIELDS thinks outside the box to provide an innovative, integrated model of holistic services reaching 10,000 at-risk families every year… and saving LA County money along the way.

 

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center: St. John’s is asking us to commit to health care for all on Giving Tuesday. Read President and CEO Jim Mangia’s op-ed in the Huffington Post here. Donate to St. John’s and the work they are doing nationally and locally–serving families, children, and individuals in need by providing comprehensive health care–here.

 

Youth Policy Institute: Help Youth Policy Institute combat intergenerational poverty one family at a time through after-school and summer programs and high-quality early education in Los Angeles. Youth Policy Institute has served over 112,000 youth and adults at 138 program sites. Giving is as easy as sending a text.


Put poverty on your Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is here, which means it’s time for us to come together, set aside our diets, and celebrate our messy, beautiful families. Every year we talk about the things we’re thankful for, but this year let’s show our gratitude by trying to make the world—and California, in particular—a better place.

Tell us how your family does Thanksgiving, and we’ll give you a way to help the 1.9 million California kids living in poverty.

However you celebrate Thanksgiving, we wish the best for you and your loved ones.

 


People Are Saying Some Crazy Things…

We’ve been seeing a lot of trolls online lately. It’s no surprise.


Campaign Launch! The Head and the Heart

Let’s talk about your head and your heart.

Child poverty is upsetting. It’s frustrating. It’s also a problem we’re smart enough to solve. That’s why we’re launching our campaign to ensure that there are no excuses. Whether you are the type of person who makes decisions using your head or your heart, we have the facts that will convince you that we can end child poverty.

There are a lot of myths about poverty — that it’s a choice, for one. Not only is that false, it doesn’t make any sense. Kids have no control over their circumstances, and we have a moral imperative to reach out and do something.

If that doesn’t move you, think about it this way:

Poverty is terrible for our state’s economy. It reduces productivity and increases crime. Expanding childhood services and intervening early has a 7-to-1 return on investment. Want to go back in time and buy Apple stock? This is like that, only righteous.

Learn with your head and feel with your heart, and use the information there to get others involved.

We’re Californians. Together we have built the most progressive, powerful, forward-thinking state in the country. We’re saving the planet and inventing cars that drive themselves. We’ve got this!


Stay tuned! Our New Campaign Launch Is Around the Corner

We’re coming off an exciting win with the governor signing AB 1520, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act, and now we’re taking our work to the next level.

We’re here to show California that we can end child poverty. Our new Head and Heart Campaign launches soon!

For now, take a sneak peek at these two videos from the campaign:

                      

Help us share the new videos to let fellow Californians know we can solve our child poverty crisis.

 


BIG WIN for California Kids! Gov. Brown Signs Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act

It’s time to celebrate and get to work: Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1520, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act. This is a big deal—the first step toward dramatically reducing poverty for 1.9 million kids in California. Your calls, tweets, and signatures helped make this happen.

Take two seconds and thank Gov. Brown for hearing us and signing AB 1520:

Once you’ve done that, follow us on social media and ask your friends to do the same:

We’ve had a big win and now it’s time to grow the movement. We need allies to make sure the AB 1520 Task Force gets the resources and influence it needs to be effective.

Remember: This isn’t theoretical. We know how to end child poverty in California. And together we’ll get it done.

Want to find out about other pro-kid bills that had big wins this legislative season? Check out the CA Legislative Women’s Caucus and Children Now.


Letter to the Editor

From our CEO, Conway Collis:

Here’s what we know: when people learn that California has the highest poverty rate in the country they’re shocked, then outraged, and then ready for action.

We know that people will support legislative goals to end child poverty if they know the reality of the issue. So, last week I wrote a letter to the editor of the LA Times after an article was published with misleading information about child poverty in California. It is exactly these kinds of errors that underline the importance of our efforts to increase awareness of the severity of child poverty in California.

Do me a favor: share my very short article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.

(If you’re old school like me, you can share the link to this post or copy and paste the letter in an email.)

To the editor: The Times’ article on the Census Bureau report on income levels was informative but misleading in regard to the percentage of people living in poverty, especially in California. (“American households finally earn more than they did in 1999,” Sept. 12)

The article did not use or report on the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, which factors in the cost of living (such as the price of housing) and is generally considered a much more accurate measure of people’s financial situation. That is especially important in California.

Under that official measure, 20.4% of Californians live in poverty, the highest percentage of any state in the country. That percentage also is virtually unchanged since 2013. Nationwide, 14.7% of people live in poverty under this measure.

Reporting on the more accurate Supplemental Poverty Measure is crucial because the lack of public awareness about the human and fiscal crisis of poverty in California is a major reason that comprehensive, sustained actions have not been taken to reduce it.

Article originally published in the LA Times.

California, which is so often the beacon of progressive politics in the US, has the highest rate of child poverty in the country. We must change this.

I hope this makes you mad (but ready for action). And I hope it compels all of us to fight for our kids.

Thank you for all that you do,

Sincerely,
Conway Collis


BREAKING: AB 1520, The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, Passes CA Legislature without a Dissenting Vote

Just a day after the U.S. Census Bureau released new numbers that show that California still has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation, California took a groundbreaking step to address the problem by sending AB 1520, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, to the Governor’s desk.

“California is a global leader in climate change and progressive politics, yet we have the highest rate of child poverty in the country—almost 2 million children,” said Conway Collis, CEO of the nonprofit GRACE, a sponsor of the bill. “We have a chance to turn that around. Governor Brown now has AB 1520 in his hands, bipartisan legislation that passed the legislature without a dissenting vote, that will take a crucial step towards reducing child poverty in our state.  On behalf of the almost 50 organizations supporting AB 1520 we urge him to sign it.”

AB 1520, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, will convene a group of experts from inside and outside of government who will set a framework for California to dramatically reduce its child poverty rate by investing in proven solutions such as voluntary home visiting; high-quality, affordable early childhood education; after-school and summer programs; earned income tax credits for working families; and job training. Learn more here.

Child poverty is a problem that can be solved, and AB 1520 is a critical first step to doing just that.  

For updates and action alerts, join the campaign

***

AB 1520 Supporters

  • GRACE (sponsor)
  • Alameda County Board of Supervisors
  • Bonnie M. Dumanis San Diego County District Attorney
  • California Alternative Payment Program Association
  • California Catholic Conference
  • California Coverage and Health Initiatives
  • California Legislative Black Caucus
  • California State Parent Teacher Association
  • California Health+ Advocates
  • Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
  • Children Now
  • Children’s Defense Fund
  • Crystal Stairs
  • First 5 California
  • First AME Church of Los Angeles
  • First Focus Campaign for Children
  • Golden State Opportunity
  • Health Access California
  • Jewish Public Affairs Committee
  • Junior Leagues of CA
  • LA PROMISE
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
  • Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood
  • Los Angeles Urban League
  • Moneta Gardens Community Center
  • Mothers In Action, Inc.
  • National Association of Social Workers, CA Chapter
  • National Foster Youth Institute
  • One For All (OFA)
  • Public Counsel
  • San Diego County District Attorney
  • SHIELDS for families
  • Social Justice Learning Institute
  • South Bay Community Services
  • South Bay Universal Child Development Center
  • St. John’s Well Child & Family Center
  • St. Joseph Center Planting Hope & Growing Lives
  • University of Southern California
  • Western Center on Law and Poverty
  • Youth Policy Institute

AB 1520 Author

Assembly Member Autumn R. Burke

AB 1520 Co-Authors

Assembly Members

Assemblymember Catharine B. Baker (R, District 16)

Assemblymember David Chiu (D, District 17)

Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D, District 9)

Assemblymember Cristina Garcia (D, District 58)

Assemblymember Todd Gloria (D, District 78)

Assemblymember Monique Limón (D, District 37)

Assemblymember Chad Mayes (R, District 42)

Assemblymember Blanca E. Rubio (D, District 48)

Assemblymember Marc Steinorth (R, District 40)

Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D, District 15)

Senators

Senator Joel Anderson (R, District 38)

Senator Steven Bradford (D, District 35)


Enough Is Enough with the “Bootstraps”

The “pull yourself up by your bootstraps” phrase is everywhere. But let’s name it for what it is: a bully phrase that insults millions of working families living on a razor’s edge every day.

If you pay attention to stories and statistics, you know that working families are already pulling themselves up by their bootstraps.

  • 78% of families on Medicaid include a family member who works.
  • Of families who receive SNAP, the federal food assistance program, 55% are working families, and 71% of families who turn to food pantries have a household member who is working.
  • Demanding, critical careers like home health aides (averaging $23,600 per year) and child-care workers (averaging $21,170 per year) pay too little to cover basic costs like rent or childcare.

Veronica, a member of our community, shared, “The bureaucracy is astounding when it comes to families applying to ‘child care subsidies,’ even a mom with three children who is working and earning $18 an hour can’t afford child care, and if she does, it’s not available after 5:00pm, half an hour earlier than what she needs, because of her work schedule!”

Bootstraps are clearly not enough.

We need comprehensive, research-backed strategies to dramatically reduce poverty—strategies that meet the needs of California’s hard-working families.

Our next generation is depending on us. Join us.

 


Video

Video

Twitter Feed