#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: Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

As you read this, there are thousands of California children who don’t know when they’ll have their next meal. Meanwhile, California grows more food than any other state in the nation — particularly in the Central Valley — and we export more than a quarter of it.

“How do we feed the world, but starve our kids?” This question was posed by Brian King, co-founder and director of the Fresno Street Saints, during the End Child Poverty Bus Tour stop in Fresno this spring. His words have stuck with me ever since.

Brian King speaking in Fresno as part of the End Child Poverty Bus Tour in May. (Photo credit: Fernando Rios)

Brian served on the state task force that created the End Child Poverty Plan with me and other leaders from across California. He and members of the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission joined us on the End Child Poverty Bus Tour, where we traveled from Chula Vista to Sacramento to shed light on California’s child poverty crisis.

During the tour, Brian heard some things that stuck with him, too.

“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. [S]he has a 4-year-old kid that she’s trying to raise on $540 a month. But she’s fighting…and she encouraged me to keep on,” he said.

“Through our travel halfway across this state, I’ve been able to sit… with people on the bus… and just look at the glimmer of hope that we come together to try to end poverty throughout the whole state.”

Brian King, Fresno Street Saints, a program of the Fresno EOC

To learn more about how the Fresno EOC supports the mission to #EndChildPovertyCA, check them out on Facebook or Twitter.

As we collaborate with Brian, Monique, and our partners and families to build a bright future for our children, we’re reminded that conversations about child poverty need to take several fundamental truths into account:

  • Poverty is a result of the systems we create. It’s not inevitable. 
  • Poverty in California is urban, suburban, and rural. 
  • Families in poverty are working incredibly hard. They’re missing time with their children to work multiple jobs, commuting three to four hours a day to get to affordable child care or jobs in big cities, and navigating extremely complex systems to try to access help. 

Families can’t wait another year as we push the crisis of child poverty to the side. Thanks to your voice and the collaboration of partners like Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission,  that glimmer of hope that Brian talked about is getting brighter: In 2019 alone, $5 billion of the End Child Poverty Plan was approved in the state budget.

But that was just the beginning. As we look to 2020, we’re committed to making sure the entire plan is supported so we can END extreme child poverty for 450,000 California children. 

We’re ready. Will you join us?

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

P.S. Looking for some extra inspiration? Read Brian’s full Fresno speech here, and the speech by San Diego leader Monique Rosas here. 

Enfoque en nuestro colaborador : Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

Mientras lees esto, hay miles de niños de California que no saben cuándo tendrán su próxima comida. Mientras tanto, California cultiva más alimentos que cualquier otro estado de la nación, particularmente en el Valle Central, y exportamos más de una cuarta parte.

“¿Cómo alimentamos al mundo, pero matamos de hambre a nuestros hijos?” Esta fue  la pregunta que hizo Brian King, cofundador y CEO de Fresno Street Saints, durante la visita en Fresno del recorrido en autobús para acabar con la pobreza infantil que realizamos la pasada primavera. Sus palabras se han quedado conmigo desde ese dia.

Brian King hablando en Fresno como parte del tour de acabar con la pobreza infantil en mayo. (Crédito de la foto: Fernando Rios)

Brian sirvió en el grupo de trabajo estatal que creó el Plan para Acabar con la Pobreza Infantil conmigo y con otros líderes de  diferentes partes de California. Él y los miembros de Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission se unieron a nosotros en el recorrido en autobús para Acabar con la Pobreza Infantil, donde viajamos desde Chula Vista a Sacramento para darle luz a la crisis de pobreza infantil en  California.

Durante el recorrido en autobús , Brian escuchó algunas cosas que también se quedaron con el.

“Conocí a una joven de 26 años en San Diego llamada Monique que tiene todo el ADN que tengo yo de estos barrios empobrecidos. Élla tiene un niño de 4 años y están tratando de vivir con $540 al mes. Pero ella está luchando … y me animó a seguir luchando también” nos compartió.

“A través de  nuestro viaje por medio estado, pude  sentarme una hora con la gente en el autobús y sentarme en hoteles por la tarde y mirar con  un poco de esperanza que nos unamos para tratar de acabar con la pobreza en todas las partes del estado.”

Brian King, Fresno Street Saints, un programa de Fresno EOC

Para obtener más información sobre cómo el EOC de Fresno apoya la misión de #EndChildPovertyCA, dales  un vistazo en Facebook o Twitter.

A medida que colaboramos con Brian, Monique y nuestros colaboradores y familias para construir un futuro brillante para nuestros hijos, recordemos que las conversaciones sobre la pobreza infantil deben tomar en cuenta varias verdades fundamentales:

  • La pobreza es el resultado de los sistemas que creamos. No es inevitable.
  • La pobreza en California es urbana, suburbana y rural.
  • Las familias en pobreza están trabajando increíblemente duro.  Les falta tiempo con sus hijos porque están trabajando en varios trabajos, viajando de tres a cuatro horas al día para llegar a guarderías que puedan pagar o trabajos en ciudades grandes, y navegando en sistemas extremadamente complicados para intentar obtener acceso a  ayuda.

Las familias no pueden esperar otro año mientras ponemos a un lado la crisis de la pobreza infantil.  Gracias a su voz y a la cooperación   de colaboradores como la Economic Opportunities Commission de Fresno, ese rayo de esperanza del que compartió  Brian se está poniendo más brillante: tan solo en el 2019, se aprobaron $ 5 billones del Plan para  Acabar con la Pobreza Infantil en el presupuesto estatal.

Pero ese era sólo el inicio. Mientras miramos hacia el 2020, nos comprometemos a asegurarnos de que todo el plan sea apoyado para que podamos poner fin a la pobreza infantil extrema para 450,000 niños de California.

Estamos listos. ¿Te unes?

En solidaridad,
Jackie Thu-Huong Wong

PD ¿Buscas inspiración extra? Lea el discurso completo de Brian en Fresno aquí, y el discurso de la líder de San Diego, Monique Rosas, aquí.

What a Year

One year ago, we were bundled up and standing on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento. And we weren’t alone: Parents, children, lawmakers, faith leaders, and members of grassroots organizations and partners were all standing with us.

Pastor and community leader Lesley Simmons stepped up to the mic to reflect on why. 

Lesley Simmons speaking in Sacramento

Watch his full speech here

“Faith calls us to lean all the way into this moment,” he said. “I want to invite all Californians to lean in and reimagine a future together, a future where our children aren’t left behind. A future where our families aren’t left behind.”

That was the day the End Child Poverty CA Plan was launched. Since then…

We’ve earned broad support for new investments in California children and families.

We rallied to #EndChildPovertyCA in Sacramento, Chula Vista, Los Angeles, Pomona, Weedpatch, Fresno, Salinas, Oakland, and San Bernardino. Our community of 47,000 Californians continues to grow, and we now count more than 60 organizations among our partners. This fall, in San Bernardino, we launched our partnership with Dolores Huerta and the Dolores Huerta Foundation to continue to build the statewide End Child Poverty community organization.

$5 billion in End Child Poverty Plan recommendations were adopted in the state budget.

The budget doubles the California Earned Income Tax Credit for low-income families, includes a new Young Child Tax Credit for parents with children under 6, expands health care access to young Californians aged 19-26 regardless of immigration status, invests in youth-focused housing and rapid-rehousing programs, and more. Hundreds of you joined us at our advocacy day last January and joined us to testify in front of lawmakers about the urgent need. These are your victories achieved for all Californians.

In 2020, we’ll be working to get the rest of the plan passed so we can end extreme child poverty in California for good.

Achieving the goal of ending extreme child poverty will take a movement, and we laid a strong foundation for it together this year. We’re eager to expand our community in 2020 with on-the-ground outreach and a powerful digital campaign.

Your involvement will help spread the word and make this happen. Join the End Child Poverty organization in your community being led by our partner Dolores Huerta and the Dolores Huerta Foundation.

It’s been a landmark year for the #EndChildPovertyCA campaign. Thanks for staying involved as we continue to fight to end child poverty and build a bright future for ALL California children. 

Here’s to a New Year full of commitment and joy!

Conway Collis

Que Año tan Exitoso

Hace un año, estaba abrigado y parado en las escaleras del Capitolio en Sacramento. Y no estaba solo: padres, hijos, legisladores, líderes religiosos y miembros de organizaciones y socios estaban de pie conmigo. Pastor y líder comunitario Lesley Simmons se acercó al micrófono para reflexionar sobre el por qué.

Lesley Simmons hablando en Sacramento

 lee su discurso completo aquí

“La Fe nos llama a apoyar este momento completamente,” dijo. “Quiero invitar a todos los Californianos a inclinarse  e imaginarnos un futuro juntos, un futuro donde nuestros hijos no se queden atrás. Un futuro donde nuestras familias no sean olvidadas. . Un futuro [donde] la comunidad negra no se quede atrás.”

Ese fue el día en que se lanzó el Plan Para Acabar con la Pobreza Infantil. Desde entonces…

Hemos obtenido un amplio apoyo para nuevas inversiones en los niños y familias de California.

Nos reunimos con #EndChildPovertyCA en Sacramento, Chula Vista, Los Ángeles, Pomona, Weedpatch, Fresno, Salinas, Oakland y San Bernardino. Nuestra comunidad de 47,000 Californianos continúa creciendo, y ahora contamos con más de 60 organizaciones entre nuestros colaboradores.  Este otoño, en San Bernardino, lanzamos nuestra alianza con Dolores Huerta y la Fundación Dolores Huerta para mejorar nuestro trabajo de participación comunitaria.

En el presupuesto estatal se adoptaron $ 5 mil millones en recomendaciones para el Plan Para Acabar con la Pobreza Infantil.

El presupuesto duplica el Crédito Tributario por Ingreso del Trabajo de California para familias de bajos ingresos, incluye un nuevo Crédito Tributario de Jóvenes para padres con niños menores de 6 años, amplía el acceso a la atención médica para jóvenes Californianos de 19 a 26 años, independientemente de su estado migratorio, invierte en jóvenes enfocados en programas de vivienda y reubicación rápida, y más. Cientos de ustedes se unieron a nosotros en nuestro día de defensa en el pasado enero a nosotros para testificar frente a los legisladores para lograr estas victorias, y no podríamos haberlo hecho sin ustedes.

En el 2020, estaremos trabajando para que se apruebe el resto del plan para que podamos terminar con la pobreza infantil extrema en California para siempre.

Lograr el objetivo de acabar con la pobreza infantil extrema requiere un movimiento, y establecimos  una fuerte base para lograrlo juntos este año. Estamos ansiosos por ampliar nuestra comunidad en el 2020 con alcance comunitario y una poderosa campaña digital.

Mientras tanto, únase a nosotros para nuestro próximo día de promoción de la campaña en Sacramento el miércoles 22 de enero. Obtenga los detalles y confirme su asistencia aquí.

Ha sido un año histórico para la campaña #EndChildPovertyCA. Gracias por seguir participando mientras continuamos luchando para terminar con la pobreza infantil y construir un futuro brillante para TODOS los niños de California.

¡Que tengan un año nuevo feliz y saludable!

Conway Collis

Llenos de pasion despues del miercoles

¡Mire  a nuestros colaboradores!

Los legisladores y activistas se reunieron en Pasadena el miércoles para dialogar  cómo movilizar a las comunidades para terminar con la pobreza infantil extrema en California para siempre. Estuvimos  encantados de tener a la líder de los derechos civiles y fundadora de la Fundación Dolores Huerta, Dolores Huerta, era la l co-lider de esta reunión fundamental y nos inspiró a todos a seguir cavando profundamente. ¡Juntos, representamos casi 20 organizaciones diferentes de todo California!

Dolores Huerta dirigiendo el grupo en un canto de “¡Si, se puede!”

En pasado mayo embarcamos en el recorrido en autobús de Acabar la Pobreza Infantil CA. En cada parada gritamos: “¡Sí podemos! ¡Pasa el plan!” como nuestro grito de guerra  a Sacramento. Nos escucharon. La legislatura dio un primer paso sin precedentes, asignando casi $ 5 mil millones para aliviar la pobreza infantil en el estado. Pero este fue solo un primer paso, en el 2020 necesitamos seguir luchando porque todavía hay niños y familias que se quedaron atrás.

Esta reunión fue un día de inspiración, de planear y dialogar , y un recordatorio profundo de por qué estamos en este movimiento: porque las historias — de días escolares perdidos, de ir a la cama con hambre, de sobrevivir día a día — no son historias que nuestros hijos deberían contar.

“Creo que hay muchas personas que no entienden lo difícil que es sobrevivir en la pobreza y la falta de vivienda … Cuando sobrevives un día de pobreza y falta de vivienda, y si lo superas, tienes que enfrentar otro”.
– Kenneth Chancey, National Foster Youth Institute

Mientras miramos hacia el futuro, estamos reafirmando nuestro compromiso de acabar con la pobreza infantil extrema en California de una vez para siempre. Lucharemos para acrecentar  el cuidado infantil, la reforma de la justicia juvenil, el acceso a la atención médica, los créditos fiscales para aquellos con niños pequeños independientemente de su estatus migratorio y muchos otros temas para sacar a nuestros niños de la pobreza.

Ahora necesitamos que se una con nosotros tambien! Firma para ser voluntario con la organización de Acabar Pobreza Infantil en tu comunidad siendo guiado por nuestro socio Dolores Huerta y la Fundación Dolores Huerta.

Gracias por ser parte de esto,
El equipo de Acabar la Pobreza Infantil CA

Fired up from Wednesday

Take a look at our partners! 

Policymakers and activists gathered in Pasadena on Wednesday to discuss how to mobilize communities to end deep child poverty in California for good. We were thrilled to have civil rights leader and founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Dolores Huerta, co-lead this pivotal meeting and inspire all of us to dig deep. Together, we represented more than 30 different organizations from across California!

Dolores Huerta leading the group in a chant of “¡Si, se puede!”

In May we embarked on the End Child Poverty in CA bus tour. At every stop we chanted, “Yes we can! Pass the plan!” as our rally cry to Sacramento. They heard us. The legislature took an unprecedented first step, allocating almost $5 billion to alleviate child poverty in the state. But this was just a first step, in 2020 we need to keep fighting because there are still children and families who were left behind.

It was an inspirational day of gathering, planning, discussion and a profound reminder of why we’re in this movement: Because the stories — of missed school days, of going to bed hungry, of surviving on a day-to-day basis — are not stories that our children should be able to tell.

“A lot of people I don’t think understand how difficult it is to survive in poverty and homelessness…When you do survive a day of poverty and homelessness, and if you live through it, you have another one to face.”

– Kenneth Chancey, National Foster Youth Institute

As we look ahead, we’re reconfirming our commitment to ending extreme child poverty in California once and for all. We’ll be fighting to expand childcare, juvenile justice reform, health care access, tax credits for those with young children irregardless of immigration status, and many other issues to lift our children out of poverty.

Now it’s your turn! Tell us why you’re committed to ending deep child poverty and what your priorities are for the fight ahead.

Thanks for being a part of this,
The End Child Poverty CA Team

To see and share this email as a web page, click here.

Enfoque: Parent Voices

Un poco después de lograr su sueño de ser dueña de una peluquería, Jacquelyne Gettone se dio cuenta de algo que era un problema para muchos padres: no podía encontrar cuidado  infantil de calidad y a precio módico en el que podía confiar cerca de su hogar.

“Tuve que cerrar mi negocio porque no podía pagar el cuidado infantil”, dice ella.

Jacquelyne ha estado en la lista de espera de cuidado infantil subsidiado de California por más de un año — y todavía está esperando. “Para muchas familias, la lista de espera es realmente la Lista Sin Esperanza”, dice ella. “Me deja con el corazón roto. El ochenta y cinco por ciento de [los niños en la lista de espera] son ​​niños de color. Mi hijo Matthew es uno de ellos. Las probabilidades se están acumulando contra él como un niño afroamericano.

“Estar en la lista de espera significa pasar tres o cuatro horas por día viajando diariamente, no poder pagar un automóvil confiable, tiempo perdido en vez de poder pasarlo  con mis hijos, tener que perderme las actividades de escuela y deportivas de mis hijos … Significa vivir de sueldo a sueldo. Me ha hecho sentir desesperada, frustrada y estresada.”

Jacquelyne Gettone, Parent Voices

Jacquelyne está luchando para crear más oportunidades para familias como la de ella. Es miembro de Parent Voices, uno de nuestros colaboradores  de Acabar con Pobreza Infantil en California, y viajó desde Contra Costa a Sacramento esta primavera para compartir su historia con legisladores estatales.

Parent Voices es una organización dirigida por padres dedicada a hacer que el cuidado infantil de calidad sea accesible y a un precio módico para todas las familias. Trabajan duro para poner las experiencias de los padres en el centro de las decisiones políticas y brindan recordatorios poderosos de el problema que esta en nuestro estado: Padres están perdiendo trabajos y dejan de ir a la escuela debido a la falta de cuidado  infantil.

Para obtener más información sobre el importante trabajo que Parent Voices está realizando para expandir el acceso a un cuidado infantil de calidad para nuestras familias, siguelos en @ParentVoicesCA en Twitter.

Cuando las voces de los padres se unen con las de los creadores  de políticas, colaboradores y aliados como usted, suceden grandes cosas. Juntos, solo este año, obtuvimos $5 mil millones del Plan para Acabar con la Pobreza Infantil en el presupuesto estatal, ¡incluyendo 12,500 nuevos espacios para cuidado infantil, 10,000 espacios preescolares de día completo y garantías de cuidado infantil sin interrupción!

Jacquelyne (izquierda) y otros padres líderes de Parent Voices que asisten a una audiencia de presupuesto en el Capitolio.

Estoy orgullosa de lo que hemos logrado junto con colaboradores  como Parent Voices. Hay mucho trabajo por hacer para #EndChildPovertyCA, y espero presentarme con ustedes — y con todos nuestros increíbles colaboradores — para lograr aún más en el 2020.

Con cariño,

Jackie Thu-Huong Wong
Vicepresidente de Política y Abogacía
Acabar con la pobreza infantil CA

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.


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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