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

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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)


AB 1520 Passes Senate Human Services Committee

On Tuesday, The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act (AB 1520) passed the Senate Human Services Committee by a unanimous and bipartisan vote.

Since its introduction, AB 1520 has been amended to create a statewide task force made up of leaders inside and outside of government charged with developing a comprehensive, data-driven plan to eliminate deep child poverty and reduce overall child poverty by 50% over 20 years.

This is a significant and necessary step forward for California. Sign on to support this legislation.

California has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation—affecting 1.9 million children. Although some progress has been made in reducing poverty, we still have higher rates of child poverty today than we did 10 years ago.

The AB 1520 task force is an important first step because it creates a road map for California to set a model for the nation to dramatically reduce child poverty.

AB 1520 now progresses to the Senate Appropriations Committee and hopefully to the governor’s desk soon, but we need your help to continue to build momentum to ensure its passage.

If you haven’t done so already, sign on to support AB 1520 today and share this development on Facebook and Twitter!

AB 1520 is heard at the Senate Human Services Committee meeting in Sacramento. Photo: Sandra Sanchez

Get the Facts on AB 1520, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force

Assembly Bill 1520, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, creates an expert task force made up of leaders and stakeholders from inside and outside government that will develop a comprehensive, data-driven plan that lays the groundwork to end child poverty in California.

AB 1520, authored by Assemblywoman Autumn Burke and sponsored by the anti-poverty non-profit GRACE passed the legislature with bipartisan support and not one dissenting vote. The legislation is informed by the latest poverty research from the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.

AB 1520 is now on the Governors desk awaiting his signature.

BACKGROUND

California has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure that accounts for the high cost of living in our state. That translates to one in five children or 1.9 million California children affected. Almost one-third of African American children and one-third of Latino children in California live in poverty.

Efforts to invest in measures to reduce child poverty have been hampered by a lack of sustained focus and a defined, comprehensive plan for addressing the problem. AB 1520 takes the first step in addressing child poverty through the creation of a task force that will develop a comprehensive plan with proven, data-driven solutions to significantly reduce California’s child poverty rate.

ASSEMBLY BILL 1520

AB 1520 addresses deep poverty and moves toward reducing the overall child poverty rate in California by creating the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, which will provide a comprehensive plan to the Legislature and various state agencies.

The task force will consist of stakeholders that focus on family and child well-being, from birth to adulthood, in furtherance of the goals of reducing child poverty and alleviating family crises.

Expert analysis finds that over time, a comprehensive and data-driven approach will save taxpayers money in healthcare and social services, reduce overcrowded jails and prisons, decrease child abuse, and significantly reduce the number of children living in poverty, with an estimated 2:1 return on investment for taxpayers.

See the full text of the bill here.

SUPPORT

  • 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
  • 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


Applying Science to Solve Poverty: CA’s AB 1520

By David Grusky, Ph.D, Professor of Sociology, Stanford University; Director, Stanford Center on Poverty & Inequality (Above, Professor Grusky testifies at an April hearing for AB 1520)

May 2017 – When a highway bridge collapses in California, as one recently did in Big Sur, there’s no paralyzing legislative debate about whether to fix it, how to fix it, or even when to fix it. We just fix it.

So here’s a puzzle: Why don’t we also “just fix it” when it comes to repairing California’s poverty problem? It’s beyond debate, just to be clear, that California does have a massive poverty problem: The best available measure, the California Poverty Measure, puts the overall poverty rate at 20.6 percent and the child poverty rate at 23.1 percent.

Why has California, the land of plenty, evidently decided that it’s just fine to have one of the country’s highest poverty rates? Here’s the main reason: It’s widely believed that we just don’t know how to take on poverty. We’re quick to fix the bridge because at least we know how to fix it. But poverty, by contrast, is seen as too complicated to remedy.

This view, however widespread it may be, confuses effects with causes. It’s quite right that the effects of poverty are complicated: These effects show up, for example, as health problems, cognitive problems, education problems, crime problems, marital problems, and labor market problems. It’s a massive, complicated, and unending job to treat the effects of poverty. It’s like plugging holes in a dam.

But the causes of poverty are, by contrast, comparatively simple and well understood. In recent decades, we’ve seen major advances in the science of poverty, advances that now make it possible — for the first time — to treat poverty at its source and reduce it permanently. This new science of poverty identifies the major turning points and junctures in a child’s life and identifies the interventions at each juncture that have been proven to work. When these interventions are knitted together into a comprehensive plan, they have a powerfully cumulative effect. The key features of this new science — and how it might be applied to reduce poverty in California — have been laid out in a recent report issued by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality.

When poverty is treated at its source, the safety net becomes a sacred institution for restoring the American Dream. It’s not about charity. It’s about recommitting us to the principle that opportunity shouldn’t be put on the market and sold only to parents who have the money to buy it for their children.

But we can’t restore the American Dream with reports, science, and research alone. We also need good law. The latter comes in the form of AB 1520, the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Act of 2017, authored by Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood). This bill mandates that California move into the 21st century by building an anti-poverty response based on the new science of poverty. It mandates that our response must reduce child poverty by 50 percent over 20 years. And it mandates that we rigorously evaluate our progress toward that goal.

We of course don’t know how to do all this perfectly. But that shouldn’t paralyze us. We can continuously monitor the effectiveness of our interventions to assess what’s working and to reform our interventions in response to unforeseen results or new developments in science. The simple upshot: We can — and should — get started now and then continuously improve our response over time.

We thus have one of those rare opportunities to take control of California’s future and stand up for our children, expose the state’s lip-service commitment to equal opportunity, and to make it clear that — at least in California — we’ll make our commitment to equal opportunity a real and authentic one.

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Find out more about the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality here.

Read the bill text for AB 1520 here.


BREAKING: Landmark legislation to reduce child poverty by 50% introduced in California State Assembly

ECPCA Girl-Pink-Lead-Nation

Assemblywoman Autumn Burke (D–Inglewood) just introduced The Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty Act, AB 1520, in the California State Assembly.

This landmark legislation commits California to a goal of reducing child poverty by 50% over 20 years, and provides a framework of research-backed solutions to achieve it.

California has the highest rate of child poverty in the nation according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure that accounts for the high cost of living in our state. That translates to 1.9 million, or one in five California children. Child poverty of this magnitude will take a generation to change: AB 1520 provides the tools to do it.

Join in supporting The Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty Act:

Yes, I support AB 1520.

AB 1520 gives California the opportunity to set a model for the nation in reducing child poverty—dramatically improving the lives of California’s children and families, and strengthening our economy.

Groundbreaking change will take a groundswell of support. Learn more about AB 1520 here, and let your network know that California is leading the way by sharing on Facebook and Twitter.


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