California has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation when you account for cost of living. According to the US Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, 1 in 5 kids—that’s 1.9 million—in our state live in poverty. That’s 1.9 million too many. We’re changing that, and we want you to join us.
GRACE, an anti-poverty non-profit based in California, is dedicated to reducing child poverty and launched the End Child Poverty in California (ECPCA) campaign to raise public awareness of this crisis and build a movement to demand change. Last year we sponsored anti-poverty legislation that is now signed into law, and our April Rally to End Child Poverty was attended by over 500 people and headlined by civil rights champion Congressman John Lewis.
But we have a lot of work to do: most people in California aren’t aware of the severity of this problem, and nobody can fight for an issue they don’t know exists. So the first part of our campaign is aimed at building public awareness. ECPCA is a digital campaign that harnesses social media to build an army of individuals ready to take action. To follow along, visit our website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
One in five children in California lives in poverty. Significantly reducing child poverty of this magnitude requires an unprecedented and comprehensive investment in proven strategies. The latest research indicates that expanding and investing in the following programs would reduce poverty in California by 50 percent:
- Prenatal and home visiting services for children ages 0–5
- Early childhood education and childcare services for children up to age 12
- Job training programs focused on youth ages 18–24
- Services coordinated through designated “Promise Zones” in neighborhoods of most need
- Immediate assistance provided to families through expansion of the state Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) and increased CalWorks grants
In addition, policies to eliminate deep child poverty and impact affordable housing, income inequality, and homelessness are essential.
The ECPCA campaign raises awareness and advocates for legislation to reduce child poverty in California. This includes The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act, AB 1520 (Burke) that was sponsored by GRACE and signed into law by Governor Brown in October 2017.
AB 1520 will create an expert task force made up of leaders and stakeholders that will develop a comprehensive, data-driven plan that lays the groundwork to eliminate deep child poverty and reduce child poverty overall. For more information, click here.
End Child Poverty in California events raise public awareness and offer an opportunity for people to participate in our campaign in a different way. The ECPCA campaign hosts regional events like the Rally to End Child Poverty, which took place in South Los Angeles in April 2017 and featured prominent speakers like civil rights champion Congressman John Lewis, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Karen Bass and Congresswoman Barbara Lee, as well as Assemblywoman Autumn Burke. Over 500 people attended and local news outlets covered the event extensively. Check out this short video with highlights from the event:
We’re grateful for the many organizations that have joined ECPCA as partners in the campaign to End Child Poverty in California. They include the Children’s Defense Fund, Children Now, Para Los Niños, Catholic Charities of San Francisco, St. John’s Well Child and Family Center, and the National Foster Youth Institute.
Partners of the campaign share our goal to raise public awareness of the high rates of child poverty in California and the policy solutions. Partners help to expand ECPCA’s reach by sharing information with their networks and encouraging their networks to join the campaign.
Become A Partner
Becoming a campaign partner means:
- Your organization supports the End Child Poverty in California campaign to raise public awareness and build broad support to make ending child poverty a priority by:
- Your organization supports the comprehensive policy approach to reduce child poverty in California. We have a research-backed plan that is proven to work. Find out more here.
- Your organization provides your logo so we can highlight you as a partner on our campaign website. Visit our website and scroll to the bottom for an example of how logos appear.
Benefits of being a partner include:
- A seat at the table in strategizing for priority legislation to reduce child poverty
- Opportunities to partner and participate in ECPCA local events including conferences, round tables and rallies
- Amplification of your message by sharing social media posts and emails highlighting your organization
Only by working together can we make child poverty a priority in California.
Join as a partner today!
Sandra Sanchez, Vice President and COO