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.
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!
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.
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.
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,
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
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)
Senator Joel Anderson (R, District 38)
Senator Steven Bradford (D, District 35)
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.
California can dramatically reduce child poverty with research-backed solutions. Legislation now in the State Senate will create a roadmap for California to cut child poverty in half over 20 years.
But most Californians don’t even know that we have the highest child poverty in the nation. That’s why we created this brand new video.
Child poverty is an invisible problem. Polling we conducted with Hart Research last year indicates that over half of Californians don’t realize we have crisis levels of child poverty in our state.
But, Californians who regularly see or hear things about child poverty are twice as likely to say that it’s a problem, and 86% of those who see it as a big problem are more likely to support efforts to reduce it.
It’s up to us to build the awareness and momentum to dramatically reduce child poverty in California.
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!
Governor Jerry Brown just signed the 2017–2018 budget that includes some key wins for California’s children living in poverty:
- More than one million more households will now be eligible for the California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC), a program that puts money back in the pockets of poor working families. The expansion raises the eligibility threshold to $22,300 for families (that’s a year’s salary working for minimum wage). Read more.
- Funding for preschool and child care programs will be boosted by $25 million, creating 2,900 more slots. These programs are an excellent investment that provide dividends to families and communities well into the future, and California is leading the way. Read more.
- Nearly $240 million is included to continue much-needed preschool and childcare provider rate increases. According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), early childhood educators earn 40% less than other professionals with similar qualifications. Read more.
- $50 million is allocated to the After School and Education and Safety program (ASES), that provides critical after school programs for children. After-school and summer programs are critical resources for children and working families. Read more.
Thanks to YOU we’ve been able to support these efforts. Together, we can reduce child poverty in our state by 50%.