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JOIN US: End Child Poverty CA Action Call w/ Rep. Karen Bass & Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta, 3-26-20

Join Congressmember Karen Bass, Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta, GRACE/ECPCA CEO Conway Collis and movement partners this Thursday, 3-26-20, from 9:30-10:30am, for an End Child Poverty California Movement Action Call as we address the COVID-19 crisis together. [MEETING LINK & CALL-IN INFO BELOW] 

What started as a health crisis, COVID-19 is quickly turning into an economic catastrophe for vulnerable Californians.

We’re mobilizing support for the Anti-poverty Stimulus Package, sharing resources and addressing the COVID-19 crisis together. Congressmember Bass will update us on the Federal response (unless the House is called into session and she needs to vote at the time of the call). 

The Action Call is open to motivated Californians across the state and End Child Poverty CA Movement partners and collaborators. Join us and share the link: https://www.endchildpovertyca.org/action-call-2/.

Congressmember Karen Bass speaks in front of a podium that says "End Child Poverty in California" at an End Child Poverty rally, April 2017. Photo credit: Valerie Goodloe
Congressmember Karen Bass speaks at an End Child Poverty rally, April 2017. Photo credit: Valerie Goodloe

Call-in & Video Conferencing Information

This is a Zoom Video Conference with Phone-In Option
Time: Mar 26, 2020 09:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/478095623

Meeting ID: 478 095 623

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Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adJY3QoPFj

Find Out More

→ End Child Poverty California COVID-19 Action Page

→ COVID-19 Anti-poverty Stimulus Package

→ End Child Poverty CA Press Release

→ End Child Poverty CA Letter to the Governor from CEO Conway Collis and Dolores Huerta, President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation

→ End Child Poverty California Movement Resources List (Dynamic & Editable)

Photo Credit: Fernando Rios


End Child Poverty CA COVID-19 Anti-Poverty Stimulus Package: Cash to Vulnerable Californians

END CHILD POVERTY CA COVID-19 ANTI-POVERTY STIMULUS PACKAGE

The following one -time payments respond to the current COVID-19 crisis for California’s most vulnerable children and families. They also provide an immediate economic stimulus as research shows that 80% of cash supports are spent locally.

Prior to the pandemic, California families were already faced with health, hunger, and housing instability. COVID-19 has exacerbated this crisis. We need to provide immediate cash assistance for vulnerable families NOW to allow parents and caregivers to stay home with their children, purchase necessities, and keep their families housed as California addresses this health and economic crisis.

Proposal # 1 Child Poverty Emergency Safety Net Payment

Families living in deep poverty will be hardest hit by the COVID-19 economic downturn. This safety net payment will help increase stability during this health crisis. A one-time cash payment of up to $1,200 would be paid through the counties via the general assistance program to families with at least one child ages 6 or under and with income and earnings at 70% of the Federal Poverty Line, irrespective of immigration status.

Cost estimate: One-time GF cost of $150 million. Counties would also incur administrative costs, which would be reimbursable from the state.

Proposal #2: Supplemental Emergency CalEITC Payments

The Cal EITC is well positioned to provide cash to lower-wage workers. We propose that all taxpayers eligible for 2019 expanded California EITC would be eligible immediately for a second credit equal to one-half the size of the credit they were eligible for in 2019. In addition, ITIN filers should be included in this payment.

Cost estimate: One-time GF cost of approximately $550 million.

Proposal #3: Emergency Assistance Payments.

One-time emergency assistance from the state to the counties to provide a necessary supplement for the General Assistance program. The funds would be distributed by the counties to households with children having incomes of less than 70 percent of the federal poverty line who are not otherwise eligible for assistance through the first two proposals. This includes families with a recent job loss, were unable to work in the prior year or have major health expenditures. The funds would be available on a one-time basis for emergency needs such as food, prescription drugs, rents needed to avoid eviction, or car repair.

Cost Estimate: Variable, but recommended GF allocation of $300 million.
Need for Immediate Implementation Through Recommended Payment Mechanisms

Given the urgency of the moment, the priority is to quickly and efficiently get cash in the hands of low-income families with children who are in dire need of immediate resources to protect them from the drastic COVID-19 economic downturn. Existing safety net programs such as CalWORKs and Cal EITC are designed to promote self-sufficiency and upward mobility over the long-term, but there are barriers to quickly modifying these programs to provide short term emergency relief.

Many Californian’s experiencing deep poverty are not able to participate in existing safety net programs for various reasons, including citizenship status (which limits eligibility for public programs) and disabilities of parents or children. According to estimates prepared by Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, approximately 80 percent of children in families living in deep poverty do not participate in CalWORKs. Moreover, the emphasis on job training and employment is less relevant in today’s extraordinary circumstance, since near term job prospects are extremely limited.


RELEASE: #EndChildPovertyCA Call for Emergency Aid for State’s Most Vulnerable

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

END CHILD POVERTY CA CALLS FOR EMERGENCY AID FOR STATE’S MOST VULNERABLE

***Letter Delivered to Gov/Leg from Co-Chairs Dolores Huerta & Conway Collis**

SACRAMENTO — In a letter to Governor Newsom and state legislative leaders, End Child Poverty CA today called the enactment of the following emergency measures for six months of immediate assistance:

1) Child Poverty Emergency Safety Net Payment

A one-time cash payment of up to $1,200  paid through the counties via the general  assistance program to families with at least one child age 6 or under and with income  and earnings at 70% of the Federal Poverty Line, irrespective of immigration status. Families living in deep poverty will be hardest hit by the COVID-19 economic downturn. This safety net payment will help increase stability during this health crisis.

2) Supplemental Emergency CalEITC Payments

The Cal EITC is well positioned to provide cash to lower-wage workers. We propose that all taxpayers eligible for 2019 expanded California EITC would be eligible immediately for a second credit equal to one-half the size of the credit they were eligible for in 2019. In addition, ITIN filers should be included in this payment. 

3) Emergency Assistance Payments

A one-time emergency assistance payment from the state to the counties to provide a necessary supplement for the General Assistance program. The funds would be distributed by the 

counties to households with children having incomes of less than 70 percent of the federal poverty line who are not otherwise eligible for assistance through the first two proposals. This includes families with a recent job loss, were unable to work in the prior year or have major health expenditures. The funds would be available on a one-time  basis for emergency needs such as food, prescription drugs, rents needed to avoid  eviction, or car repair. 

“Children and families in poverty were struggling with housing and food insecurity prior to the  Covid-19 pandemic. With it has come increased job losses or reduced hours, additional health issues and even more trauma and insecurity,” End Child Poverty CA Co-Chairs Dolores Huerta and Conway Collis wrote in today’s letter. “Existing safety net programs such as CalWORKs and Cal EITC are designed to promote self-sufficiency and upward mobility over the long-term, but there are barriers to quickly modifying these 

programs to provide short term emergency relief. Many Californians experiencing deep poverty are not able to participate in existing safety net programs for various reasons, including citizenship status (which limits eligibility for public programs) and disabilities of parents or children. According to estimates prepared by Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, approximately 80 percent of children in families living in deep poverty do not participate in CalWORKs.Moreover, the emphasis on job training and employment is less relevant in today’s 

extraordinary circumstance, since near term job prospects are extremely limited.”

The full letter, which includes additional details about the emergency members, is here.

ABOUT END CHILD POVERTY CA

On both both a percentage and numerical basis, California’schild poverty crisis ranks as the worst in America. Almost 2 million California children live in poverty, with 400,000 of them in deep poverty — below 50 percent of the state poverty line and growing up in families working hard to survive on less than about $13,400 annually. State legislation created the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force (Co-Chaired by Collis) to develop an anti-poverty plan to be released just before the new governor and legislature took office in January 2019. The End Child Poverty CA campaign then rallied people and organizations and as a movement urged the state to adopt the Task Force’s End Child Poverty Plan, which would end deep child poverty in just four years when fully implemented. The plan would also reduce overall child poverty by 50 percent over the next decade.

For more information, visit: https://www.endchildpovertyca.org/

###


Letter to the Governor: Emergency Cash Aid to Vulnerable Californians

March 18, 2020

The Honorable Gavin Newsom Governor, State of California State Capitol, Suite 1173 Sacramento, CA 95814

Dear Governor Newsom:

To help carry out your efforts to bolster the safety net for our most vulnerable families and provide direct economic stimulus we urge you to consider adoption of the one-time emergency measures listed below. Children and families in poverty were struggling with housing and food insecurity prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. With it has come increased job losses or reduced hours, additional health issues and even more trauma and insecurity. The proposals on the attached memo include:

  • One- time Child Poverty Emergency Safety Net Payment
  • One-time Supplemental Emergency CalEITC payment, to include families with ITIN filers
  • One-time Emergency Assistance Payments

Thank you for your leadership and for considering the immediate implementation of these emergency income supports for these families in desperate need of assistance.

For further information or follow up please contact Conway Collis at conwaycollis@grace-inc.org or (626) 356–4205 or Jackie Wong at jackiewong@grace-in.org or (916) 498–3320.

Sincerely,

Dolores Huerta
President, Dolores Huerta Foundation

and

Conway Collis
President and CEO, GRACE & End Child Poverty California

CC: Ann O’Leary, Ana Matosantos, Keely Bosler Attachment

COVID-19 ANTI-POVERTY STIMULUS PACKAGE

The following one -time payments respond to the current COVID-19 crisis for California’s most vulnerable children and families. They also provide an immediate economic stimulus as research shows that 80% of cash supports are spent locally.

Prior to the pandemic, California families were already faced with health, hunger, and housing instability. COVID-19 has exacerbated this crisis. We need to provide immediate cash assistance for vulnerable families NOW to allow parents and caregivers to stay home with their children, purchase necessities, and keep their families housed as California addresses this health and economic crisis.

Proposal # 1 Child Poverty Emergency Safety Net Payment

Families living in deep poverty will be hardest hit by the COVID-19 economic downturn. This safety net payment will help increase stability during this health crisis. A one-time cash payment of up to $1,200 would be paid through the counties via the general assistance program to families with at least one child ages 6 or under and with income and earnings at 70% of the Federal Poverty Line, irrespective of immigration status.

Cost estimate: One-time GF cost of $150 million. Counties would also incur administrative costs, which would be reimbursable from the state.

Proposal #2: Supplemental Emergency CalEITC Payments

The Cal EITC is well positioned to provide cash to lower-wage workers. We propose that all taxpayers eligible for 2019 expanded California EITC would be eligible immediately for a second credit equal to one-half the size of the credit they were eligible for in 2019. In addition, ITIN filers should be included in this payment.

Cost estimate: One-time GF cost of approximately $550 million.

Proposal #3: Emergency Assistance Payments.

One-time emergency assistance from the state to the counties to provide a necessary supplement for the General Assistance program. The funds would be distributed by the counties to households with children having incomes of less than 70 percent of the federal poverty line who are not otherwise eligible for assistance through the first two proposals. This includes families with a recent job loss, were unable to work in the prior year or have major health expenditures. The funds would be available on a one-time basis for emergency needs such as food, prescription drugs, rents needed to avoid eviction, or car repair.

Cost Estimate: Variable, but recommended GF allocation of $300 million.
Need for Immediate Implementation Through Recommended Payment Mechanisms

Given the urgency of the moment, the priority is to quickly and efficiently get cash in the hands of low-income families with children who are in dire need of immediate resources to protect them from the drastic COVID-19 economic downturn. Existing safety net programs such as CalWORKs and Cal EITC are designed to promote self-sufficiency and upward mobility over the long-term, but there are barriers to quickly modifying these programs to provide short term emergency relief.

Many Californian’s experiencing deep poverty are not able to participate in existing safety net programs for various reasons, including citizenship status (which limits eligibility for public programs) and disabilities of parents or children. According to estimates prepared by Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, approximately 80 percent of children in families living in deep poverty do not participate in CalWORKs. Moreover, the emphasis on job training and employment is less relevant in today’s extraordinary circumstance, since near term job prospects are extremely limited.


Join Our L.A. 2020 Campaign Launch with Dolores Huerta & Senator Holly Mitchell

End Child Poverty California 2020 Los Angeles Launch image

NOTE LOCATION UPDATE: St. John’s Well Child and Family Center (Rolland Curtis), 1060 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Let’s celebrate 2019’s End Child Poverty California wins, and get the Plan passed in FULL in 2020! Our families work hard every day. The time to end extreme child poverty is NOW.

Join us on Friday, February 21, 2020, at 10 a.m. to launch our Los Angeles Community Campaign. ==> Click to Register

The Los Angeles launch and press conference will feature civil rights leader Dolores Huerta, Senator Holly Mitchell, and others. In collaboration with the Dolores Huerta Foundation, we’re proud to announce the primary sponsors for this event are St. John’s Well Child and Family Center and Crystal Stairs.

LOCATION: St. John’s Well Child and Family Center (Rolland Curtis), 1060 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Join us at 10 a.m. for snacks and welcome. The press conference will start at 10:30 a.m. and will be followed by neighborhood community outreach. This is a free event.

Help make the L.A. 2020 Launch great:

==> Share the Facebook event page, and mark that you’re interested and/or coming:

==> RSVP and share the Information and registration page.

==> Sign the 2020 petition to our leaders.

==> Retweet and comment on the Twitter event announcement.

==> Download and print flyers to put up:


The End Child Poverty in California campaign is sponsored by GRACE (Gather, Respect, Advocate, Change, Engage) and the End Child Poverty Institute to end extreme child poverty and reduce overall child poverty in California. In close partnership with the Dolores Huerta Foundation, we are working to increase support and community engagement across the state. We invite you to be part of the movement to address the highest child poverty rate in the nation by implementing simple solutions to a complex issue. Read our 2020 priorities.


End Child Poverty CA Movement 2020 Priorities

Child poverty is not a fact of nature. Together, we’ll make sure ALL our children are healthy, fed, and housed.

California families are working hard to get ahead, yet we still have approximately 2 million children in poverty – and 450,000 children in extreme poverty. In 2019, the state budget invested $4.8 billion in End Child Poverty Plan recommendations to address the crisis. Additional key investments remain. Our children can’t wait another year.

#EndChildPovertyCA 2020 Movement Priorities

  1. The Child Poverty Tax Credit: Get families the money they need so they don’t have to choose between having a place to live, putting gas in the car, or paying for child care. Families are striving to escape extreme poverty; they know how to best spend their money; we can provide the boost for them to do it. This proposal alone, when fully implemented, will eliminate deep child poverty.
  2. Child Care: Improve access to child care and make sure child-care workers can afford to send their own children to preschool or daycare, because child care is a lifeline to keep parents working and families stable.
  3. Housing Supports: Increase overall housing availability and reduce evictions so that children and families don’t face the trauma and stress of homelessness. 
  4. Health Care: Strengthen and expand community-based and school-based health care clinics to meet families where they are so they can get the care they need to keep them learning and working. 
  5. Coordination of Services: Continue to improve the cost-effectiveness of programs that support families, focusing on community-based, collaborative, research-based solutions.

Download a printable version of the 2020 #EndChildPovertyCA Priorities


The End Child Poverty in California campaign is sponsored by GRACE (Gather, Respect, Advocate, Change, Engage) and the End Child Poverty Institute to end extreme child poverty and reduce overall child poverty in California.  In close partnership with the Dolores Huerta Foundation, we are working to increase support and community engagement across the state. We invite you to be part of the movement to address the highest child poverty rate in the nation by implementing simple solutions to a complex issue. 


Help Us Reach 1,500 Signatures!

In January, California legislators got a visit from parents, children, and #EndChildPovertyCA partners who came to Sacramento with a simple message: We have the solutions to end extreme child poverty — now we need the political champions to join our movement.

Add your voice to ours: Sign our petition TODAY to tell our legislators this is the year to end extreme child poverty in California — and help us reach our NEW 1,500-signature goal!
Parents, children, and partners at the #Together4Kids2020 advocacy event in Sacramento where we sent the message that ALL our kids should be healthy, fed, & housed
In Sacramento, Parent Voices California parent Monique Rosas reminded legislators that California’s child poverty rate isn’t a failure of people — it’s a result of divestment in public systems for communities and families. “Not being able to afford childcare or housing has a lot to do with the broken system, not the people,” she said. “We will continue to fight until our children are housed, fed, and supported in love.” 

We have a chance to repair that broken system this year, and support among our elected leaders is growing. The Governor’s budget already includes three of our five legislative priorities for 2020: These are wins you helped achieve! And now, we’re going all in to tell legislators that it’s time to pass all five.

Will you sign our petition TODAY to help us reach our NEW 1,500-signature goal?
We are so grateful to our partner, the California Alternative Payment Program Association, for organizing #Together4Kids2020, and to dozens of partners like Children Now, California Association of Food Banks, Parent Voices California, Western Center on Law & Poverty, Hayward Promise Neighborhood, Alameda County Community Food Bank, and MORE who showed up with their voices and their signs!

California is the richest place in the nation, with more millionaires and billionaires than any other state. Ending extreme child poverty here isn’t a pipe dream. It’s something we can and will achieve — with the help of our legislators, our partners, and you.

In Solidarity,
Jackie Thu-Huong Wong
Vice President of Policy and Advocacy
End Child Poverty CA

#EndChildPovertyCA Statement on Gov. Newsom’s #CABudget Release

January 13, 2020 – On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom released his proposed 2020-2021 state budget (click for full budget or budget press conference). At GRACE and End Child Poverty California, we look forward to working with our leaders to ensure that a key missing element — the Child Poverty Tax Credit — is implemented this year, as well as other End Child Poverty Plan recommendations. ALL of our children deserve to be healthy, fed, and housed, and they simply can’t wait another year.

Read the statement from our CEO Conway Collis:

“The Governor’s proposed budget is wise in many ways, but fails to lift 450,000 children out of extreme poverty. We need the Child Poverty Tax Credit now. 450,000 children are waiting on Sacramento to fully enact California’s End Child Poverty Plan. We have to make sure it happens.

“California’s children living in extreme poverty are struggling to survive as their families face homelessness, food insecurity, and toxic stress. The lives of these children are at stake. If we don’t act now, they, and state taxpayers, will pay the price for their entire lives, whether through higher child-welfare and foster-care costs, increased homelessness, higher school drop-out rates or lost revenue resulting from unemployment and under-employment.  

“The Governor wisely proposes increased support for families in homelessness, to help keep struggling families in their homes, as well as nation-leading health care measures, in this year’s budget. Those investments build on last year’s transformative increases in health care, tax credits for families, childcare and early childhood education and other End Child Poverty Plan recommendations. 

“This year’s budgetary caution is understandable given recession concerns and potential federal cutbacks. But it is unconscionable to leave 450,000 California children mired in extreme poverty.  These children represent an unaddressed crisis of human suffering that will only add stress to the state’s budget.

“We look forward to working with the Governor and the Legislature between now and May to further enact the End Child Poverty Plan, including the Child Poverty Tax Credit, which addresses the root causes of poverty, stabilizes families, and ultimately saves California billions of dollars each year. The 450,000 children living in extreme poverty need help now.  Since we have the resources and a cost- effective plan to lift them from poverty, we have an obligation to do so.”

-Conway Collis, President & CEO of GRACE and End Child Poverty California

For more information about the End Child Poverty Plan, visit  https://www.endchildpovertyca.org/#theplan.

Follow us on Twitter for more budget reactions from our #EndChildPovertyCA partners and collaborators.


Partner Spotlight: Parent Voices

Soon after achieving her dream of owning a hair salon, Jacquelyne Gettone encountered a problem familiar to many parents: She couldn’t find affordable child care that she trusted close to home.

“I had to close my business because I couldn’t afford child care,” she says.

Jacquelyne has now been on California’s subsidized child care waiting list for over a year — and she’s still waiting. “For many families, the waiting list is really the No Hope List,” she says. “It leaves me heartbroken. Eighty-five percent of [children on the waiting list] are children of color. My son Matthew is one of them. The odds are stacking up against him as an African-American boy.”

“Being on the waitlist means spending three to four hours per day commuting, not being able to afford a reliable car, loss of time to spend with my children, having to miss out on my kids’ school and sports activities…It means living paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s made me feel hopeless, frustrated, and stressed.”
– Jacquelyne Gettone, Parent Voices

Jacquelyne is fighting to create more opportunities for families like hers. She’s a member of Parent Voices, one of our End Child Poverty California partners, and traveled from Contra Costa to Sacramento this spring to share her story with state legislators.

Parent Voices is a parent-led organization dedicated to making quality child care accessible and affordable to all families. They work hard to put the experiences of parents at the center of policy decisions, and provide powerful reminders of what’s at stake in our state: Parents are losing jobs and quitting school because of a lack of child care.

To learn more about the important work Parent Voices is doing to expand our families’ access to quality child care, follow @ParentVoicesCA on Twitter.

When the voices of parents unite with those of policy makers, partners, and allies like you, big things happen. Together, just this year, we got $5 billion of the End Child Poverty Plan into the state budget, including 12,500 new childcare slots, 10,000 full-day preschool slots, and childcare guarantees without interruption! 

Jacquelyne (left) and other Parent Voices parent leaders attending a budget hearing at the Capitol.

I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together with partners like Parent Voices. There’s more work to do to #EndChildPovertyCA, and I look forward to showing up with you — and all our amazing partners — to get even more done in 2020.

Yours, 

Jackie Thu-Huong Wong
Vice President of Policy and Advocacy
End Child Poverty CA


His Own Words: Brian King, Fresno EOC Street Saints, “How Do We Feed the World, But Starve Our Kids?”

Brian King of the Fresno Street Saints, speaks in Fresno on May 18, 2019, as part of the End Child Poverty Bus Tour. Read Brian’s full speech below. Photo credit: Fernando Rios

Brian King is the director and co-founder of the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission Street Saints. He grew up in poverty on Chicago’s South Side. Brian served as a member of California’s statewide Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force that created the End Child Poverty Plan. As our CEO Conway Collis said, “It’s with Brian King’s leadership that we’re going to get this done.”

Brian joined us for the entire 2019 End Child Poverty in California Bus Tour, and spoke multiple times, including this powerful speech in front of his hometown crowd in Fresno.

***

Praise God. I’m appointed to speak to you guys first about what I’m experiencing. So first without any further ado, let me give thanks to God for me even being here. It’s only through Him that I’m here. You know, they wrote me off and said I would never live to be 15, but it’s only thanks to God that I’m here a couple ticks away from 60.

Then I want to give thanks to my mother and mothers like her who went to bed hungry so that we couldn’t taste what poverty felt like. And so for the mothers who have put themselves in those positions and continue to do so to this day, I want to salute you guys: mothers who have went without so that we can.

Brian King, director, Fresno EOC Street Saints, May 2019

I want to talk to you on a couple of deals – with two hats – the first hat is poverty. I am a direct descendent of poverty. I have experienced all the DNA of poverty. I’ve went from an 8-year-old gang member, to 14-year-old drug addict, to an incarcerated teenager, to a 21-year-old homeless addict walking around on the South Side of Chicago just waiting to die.

I have cleaned up, and went back to the streets and became one of the most significant and largest drug dealers in the city of Chicago. I have everything that’s made up of a young African-American male that’s walked the impoverished community.

But then I came to Fresno and I found a man name Jesus. And now the other hat I wear is a battle against poverty.

And my question to us in Fresno is “How do we feed the world, but starve our kids?”

It is a tragedy that we live in the second highest concentrated poverty area in the nation. And we’re not alone. In our travels, I’ve been able to go through San Diego to here. And what I’ve seen has really broke my spirit. I met a young 26-year-old lady in San Diego named Monique that has all the DNA that I have from these impoverished neighborhoods. But she has a 4-year-old kid that she’s trying to raise on $540 a month.

But she’s fighting.

And she was so excited to see the [End] Childhood Poverty bus come up that she encouraged me to keep on. Because sometimes this deal gets hard. But as we continue to go on, I’ve seen the governor come to a community where the community came around and said, “No more.” We’re going to stand, and we’re going to fight, and we’re going to figure this whole deal out.”

Then we went and met a senator that’s working with a group of ladies that held hands and talked about how we can overcome.

And so as we continue to walk through this path of created suffering—through Pomona and through our travel halfway across this state, I’ve been able to sit an hour with people on the bus and sit in hotels in the evening and just look at the glimmer of hope that we come together to try to end poverty throughout the whole state.

There is a battle ahead of us. But coming from impoverished neighborhoods, we battle every day.

And we know this ain’t nothing but a step. So we’re here today to say, “Fresno, we need you. We need you to go out and use your influence. We need you to begin to go. And those of you who’ve not registered to vote, we need you to go register. We need you guys that sit in City Hall and that sit in these lobbying seats to begin to lobby. We need our elected officials to come together and hold hands with San Diego, with L.A., with Weedpatch.

We were there this morning. And I sat there and I watched a community that had almost nothing, give us their best. They cooked breakfast burritos for us. They had chips for us, water for us, and they don’t even have their own clean drinking water. But they took part, and they took place in this fight that we’re having.

Members of the Fresno EOC Street Saints at the Fresno stop on the End Child Poverty Bus Tour, May 18, 2019.

And so as we begin and continue our journey, I want to first salute you guys for coming out and taking time out your busy days to be a part of this deal. And from our Fresno Street Saints family, I love you guys. Thanks for showing up for us.

We are truly in a time and space in history, that we can right it. And so as you continue to hear the speakers that’s coming up today, I ask that you open your hearts, that you listen, because this is a message that’s coming from across the state – a universal message that we have to begin to save our children. And like all you guys, I am 1,300% with us lifting our children out of poverty.

But again, my biggest concern is our children are dying poverty. So we just ask that you listen patiently, and that you hear that there is a solution, and we want to give you that solution.

***

California has 450,000 children living in deep poverty. We’re also the only state with a plan to END it. Already in 2019, $3.4 billion has been put toward the End Child Poverty Plan in the 2019-2020 state budget. Investments to end child poverty will pay for themselves over time as parents and children become healthier in body, mind, and spirit, and are able to have higher lifetime earnings.

There’s more work to do. We have the research, the plan, and the momentum to end child poverty. Now we need the political and moral courage to see it through.

Join the movement: endchildpovertyca.org.


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