#WHConfHungerHealth brought together people from the advocacy, business, political, and influencer communities. Everyone shared the goals of ending hunger and improving the health of Americans.
Many policies that have gotten us to where we are today, with so much poverty and hunger in our country, are driven by racism, sexism, and classism. There has been value in keeping people just barely surviving instead of thriving with more than their basic needs met. For example, our agricultural workers who grow and pick the food that arrives on the most elite tables in America, were intentionally left out of the fair labor laws of the 1930s because of racism. Inequality in labor practices still persists almost 100 years later, making it hard for the people who grow our food to afford food themselves. Let alone high quality food that truly nourishes.
We’re so grateful we had Yesenia at the White House to represent End Child Poverty CA and California. CA was mentioned as a model for so many successful programs.
There is a huge groundswell of momentum for programs that WORK to end poverty and hunger: the Child Tax Credit and universal school meals. Champions in Congress are moved to fight for these tools that support our families’ basic rights.
We imagine a future where all of our children are valued and free. Where their families are secure and nourished. Where we live in abundance, rather than scarcity.
GRACE Celebrates Groundbreaking $115 Million Investment in HOPE Accounts for Children Orphaned by COVID-19 and Foster Youth!
Governor Gavin Newsom approved the state’s 2022-2023 budget with vital investments secured for over 32,000 children orphaned by COVID and children who are in long-term foster care.
GRACE & End Child Poverty California (ECPCA), John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY), End Poverty in California (EPIC), and Liberation in a Generation worked diligently alongside partners and California leaders for the inclusion of HOPE Trust Fund Accounts in the final budget. The Hope, Opportunity, Perseverance, and Empowerment (HOPE) for Children Act – championed by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – will lay the foundation for future expansion of child trust accounts, or baby bonds, as a tool to support wealth building and economic opportunity for California children living in poverty. Approximately 1 in 5 children live in poverty in our state.
HOPE Accounts will support children from low-income families who lost a primary caregiver to COVID-19, as well as children who are in long-term foster care. HOPE funds will be available when a child turns 18. They will allow children to invest in their education, start a business, or support purchasing transportation or housing. Access to wealth-building tools is critical to shrink the state’s persistent racial wealth gap. The budget agreement provides $100 million in one-time funding and $15 million in ongoing funding for the HOPE Account program.
Cody Van Felden, a foster youth advocate at John Burton Advocates for Youth said, “The guarantee of baby bonds means so much to me. I have done so much advocating for this because, as a first step, baby bonds will begin to eradicate generational poverty. I did not get a running start in getting out of poverty; therefore, I must work twice as hard to ensure my daughter does not stay stuck in poverty. Baby bonds will give others like me that running start to take control of their life.”
California has the highest child poverty rate in the country, with stark economic disparities that track along racial lines. Baby bonds work to close the racial wealth gap and end cycles of intergenerational poverty by providing guaranteed capital that recipients can use to build wealth and establish financial security. Providing access to this seed fund of capital directly combats the effects of racist and classist policy choices that created the racial wealth gap in the first place. Baby bonds are an increasingly prominent policy tool for combating the lasting effects of that history and charting a better path forward. In 2021, the state of Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. each enacted similar programs. Additionally, federal proposals have been introduced by Senator Cory Booker and Representative Ayanna Pressley.
Introduction to Baby Bonds & CA’s Hope Accounts
May 19, 2022
One of End Child Poverty California’s key legislative requests during 2022–and a topic that the GRACE team is championing–is the HOPE for Children Act. This request regards the establishment of Hope Accounts for California youth that are experiencing economic insecurity due to the pandemic and also those that have been involved with the child welfare system.
What will Hope Accounts Do? This proposal will create California’s first “baby bond program,” or trust fund accounts for foster youth in long term care and children orphaned by COVID-19.
Unlike their peers, these children–and other low-income California youth–do not have the cushion of parent or family wealth to rely on when they become adults. This makes it even harder for our young adults to finance an education, buy a house, start a business, and make other moves that would allow them to move out of poverty and into long-term financial stability for themselves AND their families.
A Quick Vocabulary Lesson. Wealth is what a person owns: a person’s net worth, or total assets minus liabilities. This includes items like cash, homes and real estate, cars, jewelry, etc. Income is what a person earns over a certain period, like a salary, sales profits, etc. These two are not the same. Income can generate wealth, but takes time to do so. Having a high paying job doesn’t automatically mean someone is wealthy.
Why Are HOPE Accounts Important? HOPE Accounts are a pathway toward ensuring low-income children in California will have the opportunity to realize their dreams. We are urging the Legislature to create these accounts ASAP for 32,500 children orphaned by COVID and foster youth.
We want to share End Child Poverty California movement wins from the most recent California budget.
In spite of the fact that this continues to be an incredibly difficult year, we are moving forward together. We’re proud to work with such a phenomenal group of partners, parents and advocates. We believe ALL our children deserve to be healthy, housed and fed.
On June 29, 2020, California’s newest state budget was finalized. For the first time ever, undocumented families are included in the poverty-fighting CalEITC cash-back tax credit.
This means money going directly to working families who have been left out of economic relief and necessary income supports during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know this money will be used in local communities. We know it will support some of our most vulnerable undocumented families who urgently need money for food, bills, and health care.
The CalEITC tax credit change applies to undocumented families who have children under six, and who file taxes using an Individual Tax Identification Number. These families don’t have Social Security Numbers, but they pay taxes. The change also includes the $1,000 Young Child Tax Credit for any family with children under six earning $1 or more. These changes go into effect next year. For the first time, ALL California families with young children who file taxes and make less than about $30,000 per year will be eligible for these life-saving credits.
We will continue working hard alongside our partners and the CalEITC Coalition and the Safety Net For All Coalition (a network of over 125 organizations) so that more California families can be included in immediate and ongoing relief.
And there is more good news: Both of our End Child Poverty California Senate bills passed out of the State Senate with bipartisan support!
Senate Bill 1103: Workforce Support Services for Californians (Authored by Sen. Melissa Hurtado)
Many promising youth and community members haven’t been able to complete career training programs that lead to higher wage jobs and a path out of poverty, due to the daily challenges of living in poverty. These include lack of child care, commutes of two- to three-hours each way, and the need to work multiple low-wage jobs to support their families while going to training.
SB 1103 by Senator Melissa Hurtado (D – Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare Counties) creates the High Roads Workforce Training Program that addresses the issues that stop people from graduating. This is an important commitment to families and brighter futures. SB 1103 is particularly important to California’s economic recovery from COVID-19.
Senate Bill 1409: CalEITC Tax Credit Auto-filing Pilot for Families with Low Incomes (Authored by Senator Anna Caballero)
We know that many families earn so little that they are not required to file taxes, yet they are eligible for the CalEITC tax credit and Young Child Tax Credit that would help them with stability and basic necessities.
SB 1409 authored by Senator Caballero (D – Salinas Valley and parts of the Central Valley) seeks to develop efficiencies in tax filing, so that families can directly receive their CA EITC and other tax benefits. Research has shown that as much as $2 Billion State and Federal Tax Credits are left unclaimed. This bill would cut through bureaucracy and would create methods for direct payments to families.
This crisis has had an outsized impact on our families in poverty and together we can make sure we change the way we support and create opportunities for families. Looking forward to sharing more good news in support of children and families soon.
More California budget news and analysis from partners:
The governor’s announcement was the clearest possible statement that we are all in this together. It is a watershed moment in recognizing undocumented residents as full participants in California life. This desperately needed assistance recognizes that undocumented Californians are integral to our communities and our economy, and fills gaps left by a federal assistance plan that excludes millions of Californians.
Conway Collis, End Child Poverty California President & CEO
End Child Poverty California Co-Chair Conway Collis issued the following statement today following Gov. Newsom’s announcement of $125 million in financial assistance for undocumented Californians:
“The governor’s announcement was the clearest possible statement that we are all in this together. It is a watershed moment in recognizing undocumented residents as full participants in California life. This desperately needed assistance recognizes that undocumented Californians are integral to our communities and our economy, and fills gaps left by a federal assistance plan that excludes millions of Californians.
“The Governor’s aid package is similar to the one within the California Covid-19 Anti-Poverty Stimulus Package proposed by End Child Poverty CA and the Dolores Huerta Foundation, and we thank him for his bold action.
“We expect this initial funding to be quickly exhausted, so we look forward to working with our leaders in Sacramento to ensure we keep help coming to where it’s needed most. We and others have proposed ongoing financial assistance for the lowest-income Californians. The need is clear for these types of payments to continue into the future, because all Californians deserve to be healthy, fed & housed.
Child poverty is not a fact of nature. Together, we’ll make sure ALL our children are healthy, fed, and housed.
Before the pandemic we had approximately 2 million children in poverty and 450,000 childrenin extreme poverty. The pandemic has exacerbated the situation for families working hard toget ahead. In 2019 the state budget invested $4.8 Billion in End Child Poverty Plan recommendations and preserved and built on them in 2020. We still have much work to do.
#EndChildPovertyCA 2021 Movement Priorities
Coordination of Services: Continue to improve the cost-effectiveness of programs that support families, focusing on community-based, collaborative, research-based solutions.
Child Care: Improve access and availability to childcare and address the childcare crisisas exacerbated by the Pandemicby adequately meeting the business needs of child careproviders. Child care is a lifeline to keep parents working and families stable.
Housing: Increase overall housing availability and reduce evictions so that children and families don’t face the trauma and stress of homelessness, exacerbated by the pandemic recession.
Health Care: Strengthen and expand community based and school-based health careclinics to meet families where they are so that they can get the care they need. Within anequity framework provide COVID vaccines in high needs communities and ensure healthaccess for ALL families and children irregardless of immigration status.
Safety Net: Continue to expand on the CAEITC the Young Child Tax Credit. Supportefforts to expand Pandemic EBT sothat families can feed their families, during thiseconomic crisis. Increase cash policies so that families can meet basic needs (i.e.,increase SSI payments, UI for ITIN filers, etc.…)
Download a printable version of the 2021 #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.
This time last year, the Lifting Children Out of Poverty Task Force released California’s first-ever End Child Poverty Plan. For change-makers across the state, “Pass the Plan” became a rallying call to the governor and legislative leaders to make ending extreme child poverty a top priority — and they showed that they cared.
The plan will END extreme child poverty in California and cut overall child poverty in half. It’s bold, and it took a year of teamwork, research, and engagement to produce.
California is the only state with a plan to end extreme child poverty. Together, we’re going to make it a reality.
November 2019 — Our movement to end child poverty in California is entering a critical new phase — and we want you to be a part of it from the start.
End Child Poverty California is partnering with civil rights leader, founder, and president of the Dolores Huerta Foundation, Dolores Huerta, to build a grassroots army of Californians ready to end child poverty in our state for good.
This is a big moment for our movement — and a huge moment for the future of California kids. Help us mark this milestone by sharing the news with your friends today!
We couldn’t be more proud to partner with a woman who has dedicated her life to showing people the power they have. Dolores Huerta founded the United Farm Workers movement along with César Chávez. She coined the slogan, “¡Sí se puede!” And in 2002, she established the Dolores Huerta Foundation for grassroots community organizing to empower people to fight for the changes they want to see in their communities.
Here’s what Dolores has to say:
“The great social justice changes in our country have happened when people came together, organized, and took direct action. It’s time for us to come together to end this child poverty crisis that’s destroying our children’s futures. We can do this. ¡Sí se puede!”
We have one big goal: to fully end extreme child poverty within the next four years. Then we’ll keep going to make sure ALL California children have the chance to thrive.
Here’s what we’re asking you to do next: Share about the End Child Poverty CA + Dolores Huerta Foundation partnership. Let your people know what’s going on. We’ll follow up soon to ask you what you’d like your next step in the movement to be.
We look forward to working with the Dolores Huerta Foundation to mobilize communities across the state so that all our children have a brighter future and all our families can thrive!
California has 450,000 children living in deep poverty. We’re also the only state with a plan to END it. Californians across the state know that all our children can thrive. Already, almost $5 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 break free from poverty.
There’s more work to do. In California, 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.
Nuestro movimiento para terminar con la pobreza infantil en California está entrando en una nueva fase crítica, y queremos que formes parte de ella desde el inicio.
Terminar con la pobreza infantil CA se está asociando con el ícono de los derechos civiles Dolores Huerta y su fundación para construir un ejército a base de californianos listos para terminar con la pobreza infantil de nuestro estado para siempre.
Este es un gran
momento para nuestro movimiento — y un gran momento para el futuro de los
niños de California. ¡Ayúdanos a marcar este momento compartiendo las noticias
con tus amigos hoy!
Estamos orgullosos de asociarnos con una mujer que ha dedicado su vida a mostrar el poder que tienen las personas. Dolores Huerta fundó el movimiento United Farm Workers junto con César Chávez. Ella dio a luz el eslogan, “¡Sí se puede!” En el 2002, estableció la Fundación Dolores Huerta para la organización comunitaria a base de empoderar a las personas a luchar por los cambios que quieren ver en sus comunidades.
Esto es lo que Dolores tiene que decir:
Los grandes cambios en la justicia social en
nuestro país se produjeron cuando las personas se unieron, organizaron y
tomaron medidas directas. Es hora de que nos unamos para poner fin a esta
crisis de pobreza infantil que está destruyendo el futuro de nuestros hijos.
Podemos hacerlo. ¡Sí se puede!”
Tenemos un gran objetivo: terminar por completo con la pobreza infantil
extrema en los próximos cuatro años. Luego, nos aseguraremos de que TODOS los
niños de California tengan la oportunidad de prosperar.
Esto es el próximo paso que le pedimos que hagan: Comparta sobre Terminar con la pobreza infantil CA + la Fundación Dolores Huerta para acabar con la pobreza infantil en las redes sociales y reenvíe este correo electrónico. Hazle saber a tu gente lo que está pasando. Haremos un seguimiento pronto para preguntarles y asesorarnos cuál es el próximo paso que debemos tomar en el movimiento.
Child care and strong support for foster youth are two pieces of the End Child Poverty Plan facing upcoming hearings. (See below for good news about support for foster youth!)
The power of the End Child Poverty Plan is in its comprehensive approach. It tackles many factors that push families into poverty or keep them there. There’s no magic bullet. Get involved and stay involved: share this post and tweet or share to Facebook in support of the End Child Poverty Plan Legislation.
AB 194, Assemblymember Eloise Gómez Reyes (D- San Bernardino)
AB 194 will dramatically expand access to child care through a $1B investment, which is long overdue. Your tweets and social shares let our leaders know there’s deep support for expanding child care access and affordability.
Child care is life-changing. Without it, parents can’t go to school to build their careers. We support #AB194 (@AsmReyes47) to expand #childcare for CA families. @AD26Mathis @AsmStevenChoi68 @laurafriedman43 @AsmMikeGipson @BMaienschein #EndChildPoverty #PassThePlan
Foster youth experience homelessness and housing instability at much higher rates than their peers. In one survey, over 35% of youth experienced homelessness while enrolled in extended foster care. California has expanded its transitional-age programs for foster youth aged 18-24 in recent years. Now we need to fulfill our promise to support them with AB 531: increased access to safe, stable housing.
GOOD NEWS:AB 531 will be adopted unanimously. Help us say THANK YOU to the members of the Assembly Human Services Committee.
CA made a promise to #fosteryouth. THANK YOU @AsmReyes47 @AD26Mathis @AsmStevenChoi68 @laurafriedman43 @AsmMikeGipson @BMaienschein for helping keep it. #AB531 provides transitional housing support for foster youth as they become adults. #EndChildPoverty #PassThePlan
The End Child Poverty Plan offers California a groundbreaking path to end deep child poverty for 450,000 kids and cut overall child poverty in half. Expanding California’s successful Promise Neighborhoods network is a key part of the plan.
What’s a Promise Neighborhood?
Promise Neighborhoods are powerful, family-centered networks rooted in communities. They use the power of collective impact–many programs and services working together–to support families in neighborhoods facing intense economic pressures. Promise Neighborhoods create easy entry points for services and break down red tape. They work to improve kids’ lives “from cradle to college to career,” focusing on the whole child, the whole family, and the whole community.
Promise Neighborhoods are:
Place based (located in one specific geographic area, allowing for community strength)
California currently has five Promise Neighborhoods (including our End Child Poverty in California partners Hayward Promise, Mission Promise, and YPI), and more are needed. This year Senator Ben Allen (D-Los Angeles) introduced Senate Bill 686, the California Promise Neighborhoods Act of 2019, that would expand this successful, community-centered model to more neighborhoods.
Our numbers [at Mission Promise Neighborhood] spoke for themselves. Over the six-plus years of our initiative, we used a shared case-management tool to connect 2,744 families with 5,590 different program referrals, ranging from housing and tenants’ rights to job readiness and health care. We were a collaborative of 20 community organizations, aligning our efforts to provide wraparound services to our students and families to work toward common goals. We broke through silos and shared data along the way. Together, we held ourselves accountable to turning the curve on community indicators.
MPN saw the following outcomes in our schools and with our partners:
Latino graduation rates increased from 63 percent to 88 percent
African American graduation rates increased from 46 percent to 93 percent
Ninety-four percent of elementary school families feel a sense belonging at their schools
Rate at which students change schools mid-year decreased from 13.9 percent to 7.9 percent
Eighty percent of all Latino 4-year olds in the Mission are now enrolled in preschool
Social emotional development scores for 3-year-olds jumped from 24 percent to 82 percent
These outcomes are even more impressive when you take into account the extreme pressures our families are experiencing: unprecedented levels of housing displacement, growing income inequality, all coupled with a national political climate translating to an assault on our community. Our collective work of providing families with coordinated access to mental health services, legal representation, asset building, housing services and more has helped MPN stabilize the Mission by using schools and affordable housing as community anchors.
The U.S. Department of Education grant is an affirmation of the work our partners have done. Our second iteration of MPN is focused on aligning with the City of San Francisco and its School District’s Beacon Initiative, expanding from four to nine schools in the Mission District, increasing our presence at early learning centers, developing parent leaders and reaching out to Family Child Care providers to give their families access to our network of supports. We estimate that we will now be serving approximately 8,000 children and their families in the Mission. With our collective-impact approach, MPN is on pace to have the scale of the solution match the scale of the challenge.
Joining with other Promise Neighborhoods Other Promise Neighborhoods across the state have seen similar outcomes. Together, the five Promise Neighborhoods in California created a network called CPNN. The results from the CPNN network, informed the development of a statewide plan to end child poverty. This plan includes a recommendation for the investment by the State of California into a total of 20 Promise Neighborhoods at $5 million per neighborhood, complemented by increased spending on child care, CalWORKS and much more. The plan estimates that the combination of these factors will result in benefits to state and local governments of more than $12 billion annually.
The plan lays out the seven unique characteristics of Promise Neighborhoods:
Cradle-to-college-to-career continuum to move families out of poverty
Place-based to focus on high-need geographies
Collective impact: collaborate with partners to provide solutions at scale
Align funding streams to achieve shared outcomes
Results-driven, with a focus on population-level results
Equity-focused and explicit in addressing disparities
Community powered to address local needs and build on local strengths
Data sharing, collaboration, accountable to results, good for the economy: Promise Neighborhoods are the embodiment of what we call “good government.” MEDA will be calling for these pilot initiatives to move beyond being simply boutique operations and for them to become the normal way that government delivers services….
One community is not waiting for the State to approve funding for Promise Neighborhoods; instead, it is taking the lead in using its current budget to create Promise Neighborhoods. San Diego County has approved $4 million for a pilot Promise Neighborhood based on the success of its existing Chula Vista Promise Neighborhood. If the pilot is also successful, the plan is to create even more Promise Neighborhoods throughout that county.
Closer to home — and based on the success of San Francisco’s Promise Neighborhood in the Mission District — we believe it’s time for the City and County of San Francisco to begin asking itself if other neighborhoods in the City would benefit from a Promise Neighborhood, particularly during this time of widening income inequality and displacement of working-class families and people of color.
From School Board to Mayor, State Superintendent of Schools to Governor, all the way to the House of Representatives, we are seeing inspiring new leaders take the reins of government. As they highlight the need for a more just society, now is the time for bold equity initiatives based on proven models. Perhaps 2020 will put us on pace to end child poverty.