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CA Poverty Numbers Still Worst in Nation

9/12/19 – New census data released this week put California just slightly below Washington DC with the highest rate of poverty in the nation – over 18%. The poverty rate has been declining since 2015, but much more needs to be done.

Luckily, in California we also have the nation’s only plan to end deep child poverty and cut overall child poverty in half. The ball is already rolling. June’s final California state budget puts almost $5 billion toward End Child Poverty Plan investments.

Read our CEO Conway Collis’ statement on the new census data and California’s unprecedented opportunity.

“It is indefensible that CA still has the worst child poverty in the nation. It is also tragic because the data and evidence are overwhelming that there are cost-effective solutions all laid out in detail with cost projections in the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force report. The Task Force analyzed 50 years of data. The result is the comprehensive End Child Poverty Plan that calls for specific actions that will result in predictable results — results that will end the suffering of children, provide them with brighter futures, and save money for taxpayers.

Led by Gov. Gavin Newsom and dedicated legislators, California has enacted substantial parts of the End Child Poverty Plan. But we need to implement the whole plan, particularly the proposals to eliminate deep child poverty – the cruelest and most extreme form of poverty. Join the fight. Let’s get this done!”

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and make sure you’re signed on to help us #EndChildPovertyCA.

Post image from screen shot of Sacramento Bee article, “California’s poverty rate among highest in nation once again, new census figures show,” retrieved 9/12/19


End Child Poverty CA Coalition 2019-2020 Budget Wins

The final California state budget allocates more than $3.4 billion toward investments called for in the State Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force’s End Child Poverty Plan.

State legislation created the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force to develop an anti-poverty plan that was released just before the new governor and legislature took their oaths of office in January. The End Child Poverty in California Coalition of 50+ partners rallied people, organizations and elected officials to adopt the Task Force’s End Child Poverty Plan, which would end deep child poverty in just four years when fully implemented. The End Child Poverty Plan would also reduce overall child poverty by 50 percent over the next decade.

As a result, the final state budget includes unprecedented investments to address deep child poverty. Furthermore, several pieces of legislation and budget proposals have been introduced to implement the comprehensive End Child Poverty Plan.

“This budget represents an unprecedented strategic investment to address poverty and inequality in California. Make no mistake, however — this is a down payment. Fully funding the Task Force’s plan would end deep child poverty in California in four years, and our campaign will keep working with our elected officials and all Californians to do just that. Thank you to the Governor and the Legislature with leaders on both sides of the aisle and across the political spectrum for their unprecedented action to help kids and families,” said Conway Collis, co-chair of the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, and CEO of GRACE and End Child Poverty in California.

450,000 California children live in deep child poverty. If concentrated as a population, those children would comprise the state’s eighth largest city — larger than Oakland, twice as large as San Bernardino, and just smaller than Long Beach. When fully realized, savings generated by lifting these children from poverty would total $12 billion annually, on an ongoing basis, representing a dramatic return on investment.

“We could not have done this without the broad-based coalition of anti-poverty advocates, faith-based organizations, non-profits, education advocates, business and labor who worked tirelessly to build support for this important victory. This budget is a reflection of the beginning of a sea change, with ending child poverty in California, as the Governor has stated, his North Star.  We have more to do, but this is a significant step in the right direction and we are looking forward to continuing our work with this coalition, the legislature and the Governor,” said Jackie Thu-Huong Wong, Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at GRACE and End Child Poverty in California.

California has the highest number of children and highest percentage of children living in poverty of any state in the nation — almost 2 million children, who represent one out of every five California kids. Deep poverty is defined as families living at or below 50 percent of the federal poverty line, or less than about $12,500 for a family of four. In addition, 204,000 California children experience homelessness.

Infographic: Key End Child Poverty CA Coalition Budget Wins

Additional CA Budget Information & Reactions

  • State budget analysis from our coalition partner Western Center on Law & Poverty: click here.
  • Budget statement from CalEITC4Me on the California Earned Income Tax Credit expansion: click here.
  • Statement on child care wins from our coalition partners Parent Voices & Child Care Law Center: click here.
  • Article in Vox on the CalEITC expansion in California and its national relevance: click here.
  • Additional information on the End Child Poverty Plan: click here.
    LA Times story on the release of the End Child Poverty Plan: click here.


PETITION TO OUR LEADERS: Make Ending Child Poverty a 2019 Priority

We have to make sure our California leaders know that for 2 million kids, ending child poverty can’t wait.

We’re at a key juncture as Governor Gavin Newsom revises his proposed California budget and legislators fight for their bills. SIGN ON to tell our elected leaders that the End Child Poverty Plan should be a key priority in 2019.

  • It’s comprehensive and achievable.
  • It invests in families and communities.
  • It will END extreme poverty in California for 450,000 kids.

Let’s do this! The End Child Poverty Plan letter has already been signed by over 60 esteemed California organizations. Seventeen pieces of legislation supporting the plan have already been introduced and the list is growing. We have to keep the momentum going so Governor Newsom and California State Legislators know this movement is only growing. Click to sign on:

Read the full letter below and click here for the press release. Help amplify the movement by sharing on social media:

    

Dear Governor Newsom and Budget Leaders of the California State Legislature:

We are writing as a broad coalition of Californians to ask that you urgently and immediately take actions to end deep childhood poverty and substantially reduce overall child and family poverty in California by implementing the End Child Poverty Plan.

One in five children in California live in poverty. We are the 5th largest economy in the world with the highest percentage and largest number of children living in poverty of any state in the nation. This is a human and a fiscal crisis that we have the ability to solve.

According to the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, the toxic stress of extreme poverty has a life-long negative impact on a child’s brain development. The same research indicates that the impact can be reversed by making the proven investments recommended by California’s Child Poverty Task Force that reduce or eliminate the need for more costly remediation in the future.

The Task Force’s End Child Poverty Plan is comprehensive, research-based, and community-informed. When fully implemented, the plan will end deep poverty for the 450,000 children in California living under 50% of the federal poverty line within four years and substantially reduce California’s highest-in-the-nation level of overall child and family poverty.

As children’s advocates, non-profits, religious leaders, business organizations, and concerned individuals we urge that the comprehensive End Child Poverty Plan be acted on immediately.

Reducing child and family poverty by 50% will also have a net positive impact on state and local government budgets of an estimated minimum of $12 billion annually in reduced remedial health, social service and educational expenditures and increased tax revenues.

The Governor’s proposed budget is an excellent starting point to begin reducing childhood poverty, especially for children living in deep poverty. The California Legislature can take the important step to eliminate deep poverty among families with children in the short term and to reduce overall childhood poverty by fifty percent by 2023 by adopting the Task Force’s science-based budget proposals. They include:

Primary Investments

  • Increase grants in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program to bring families up above deep poverty as proposed in the Budget Act of 2018.
  • Increase and expand access to the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Adopt a Targeted Child Tax Credit (TCTC) that would put money back in the pocket of families and put it to work in the economy. This proposal also serves to provide a rental subsidy for families living in deep poverty or experiencing homelessness. Research conducted by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality shows that cash or near cash subsidies have a long-term positive impact on reducing childhood poverty and increasing the overall economic health of a community. The TCTC alone, when fully implemented will eliminate deep child poverty within four years.

Foundational Investments

  • Guarantee access to early care and education for children 0–8 years of age who are living in poverty in order to support child early development and families’ employment, education, health and upward mobility.
  • Expand voluntary home visiting programs to support pregnant women and families with young children.
  • Add 20 state-funded Promise Neighborhoods offering coordinated, community-driven support services.
  • Secure Healthcare for All Californians.
  • Fully fund transitional housing programs and supports for foster care youth up to the age of 21.

We urge these investments for the children of California today, to support the California Dream for each of our children.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

Also signed and supported by:

GRACE

Children Now

Children’s Defense Fund

County Welfare Directors Association of California

First 5 CA

First 5 Los Angeles

Fresno EOC Street Saints

Home Start, Inc.

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center

Western Center on Law and Poverty

Youth Policy Institute

The Actors Gang

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Alliance for Children’s Rights

American Academy of Pediatrics

Barrio Logan College Institute

California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA)

California Association of Food Banks

California Catholic Conference

California Emerging Technology Fund

California Interfaith Coalition

CalEITC4ME

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County

Child Care Law Center

Child Care Resource Center

Children’s Advocacy Institute

Children’s Institute

Children’s Network of Solano County

Clinica Romero

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Cradle to Career Fresno County

First 5 Alameda

First 5 Association of CA

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County

Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

Friends Committee on Legislation of California

Good Samaritan

Jamestown Community Center (The)

Jewish Center for Justice

John Burton Advocates for Youth

JPAC – Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California

Lutheran Office of Public Policy- CA

Marin Promise Neighborhoods

Maryvale

Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

Mission Graduates

National Association of Social Workers

National Center for Youth Law

National Council for Jewish Women

National Foster Youth Institute

Parent Voices

Pathways LA

Policy Link

Rise Together Bay Area

SALEF (Salvadorian American Leadership and Educational Fund)

Shields for Families

South Bay Community Services

United Way Bay Area

United Way California

United Way of Greater Los Angeles

 

cc: Members of the California State Legislature


PRESS RELEASE: At Key Juncture, Powerful Coalition of More Than 60 Groups Statewide Urges Budget Amendments for Children in Deep Poverty

Call Tied to Key Point in Budget Process, Today’s State of the State Which Did Not Address Deep Child Poverty

SACRAMENTO — The End Child Poverty in California coalition, comprising members of the state Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force and dozens of advocacy organizations from across the state, today urged legislators to build on the Governor’s proposed budget so it eliminates deep child poverty and reduces overall childhood poverty by fifty percent, both by 2023. The Coalition’s Budget Letter, signed by more than 60 organizations, is below and it outlines specific investments. Governor Newsom delivered his State of the State today and this is a critical time in the budget process, when Department of Finance staff is holding key budget meetings with the Governor’s staff and legislative staff.

“In the Governor’s otherwise excellent State of the State address, he did not address child poverty, and especially the 450,000 California children in deep child poverty, who may be homeless or on the brink of homelessness. Year after year, these children are moved below other priorities. We can’t let this happen again,” said Conway Collis, Co-Chair of the state Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force and CEO of GRACE: “How can we address homelessness when we don’t put in place the programs that will stop our currently housed families in deep poverty from becoming homeless? Our state cannot succeed when close to a half-million kids suffer the short-term and

long-term effects of deep child poverty. We must implement the End Child Poverty Plan recommendations now and create generations of opportunity for these children and for California.”

California has the highest number of children and highest percentage of children living in poverty of any state in the nation — almost 2 million children, or one out of every five California kids. 450,000 children live in deep poverty — below 50 percent of the federal poverty line, or less than about $12,500 for a family of four. In addition, 204,000 California children experience homelessness. The state Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force recently issued a concrete plan to end deep child poverty in California in just four years when fully implemented. The plan is groundbreaking in its development and approach. AB1520, authored by Assemblywoman Burke and sponsored by GRACE, directed the California Department of Social Services to convene the Task Force to develop a research-and-data-driven plan to inform policy-making by the next governor and the legislature.

See background at http://www.EndChildPovertyCA.org

LA Times: https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-child-poverty-task-force-report-20181119-story.html

B-Roll Available from Contact and Sacramento Affiliates

BUDGET LETTER:

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Honorable Gavin Newsom

Governor, State of California

The Honorable Toni Atkins

President pro Tempore, California State Senate

The Honorable Holly J. Mitchell

Chair, Budget Committee, California State Senate

The Honorable Anthony Rendon

Speaker, California State Assembly

The Honorable Phil Ting

Chair, Budget Committee, California State Assembly

Dear Governor Newsom and Budget Leaders of the California State Legislature:

Re: 2019 End Child Poverty CA Budget Priorities

The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force (Task Force) recently issued its final Report and Recommendations. We are writing, as members of the Task Force and a broad coalition of supporters, to ask that you urgently and immediately take actions to end deep childhood poverty and substantially reduce overall child and family poverty in California by implementing the Task Force Recommendations.

One in five children in California live in poverty. We are the 5th largest economy in the world with the highest percentage and largest number of children living in poverty of any state in the Nation. This is a human and a fiscal crisis that we have the ability to solve. According to the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, the toxic stress of extreme poverty has a life-long negative impact on a child’s brain development. The same research indicates that the impact can be reversed by making the proven investments recommended by the Task Force that reduce or eliminate the need for more costly remediation in the future.

The Task Force’s End Child Poverty Plan is comprehensive, research-based and community-informed. When fully implemented, the Task Force recommendations will end deep poverty for the 450,000 children in California living under 50% of the federal poverty line within four years and substantially reduce California’s highest in the Nation level of overall child and family poverty. As children’s advocates, non-profit, religious, and business organizations, we urge that the comprehensive child and family poverty plan be acted on immediately.

Reducing child and family poverty by 50% will also have a net positive impact on state and local government budgets of an estimated minimum of $12 billion annually in reduced remedial health, social service and educational expenditures and increased tax revenues. The Governor’s proposed budget is an excellent starting point to begin reducing childhood poverty, especially for children living in deep poverty.

The California Legislature can take the important step to eliminate deep poverty among families with children in the short term and to reduce overall childhood poverty by fifty percent by 2023 by adopting the Task Force’s science-based budget proposals. They include:

Primary Investments

– Increase grants in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program to bring families up above deep poverty as proposed in the Budget Act of 2018.

– Increase and expand access to the Earned Income Tax Credit.

– Adopt a Targeted Child Tax Credit (TCTC) that would put money back in the pocket of families and put it to work in the economy. This proposal also serves to provide a rental subsidy for families living in deep poverty or experiencing homelessness. Research conducted by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality shows that cash or near cash subsidies have a long-term positive impact on reducing childhood poverty and increasing the overall economic health of a community. The TCTC alone, when fully implemented will eliminate deep child poverty within four years.

Foundational Investments

– Guarantee access to early care and education for children 0–8 years of age who are living in poverty in order to support child early development and families’ employment, education, health and upward mobility.

– Expand voluntary home visiting programs to support pregnant women and families with young children.

– Add 20 state-funded Promise Neighborhoods offering coordinated, community- driven support services.

– Secure Healthcare for All Californians.

– Fully fund transitional housing programs and supports for foster care youth up to the age of 21.

We urge these investments for the children of California today, to support the California Dream for each of our children. If you have any questions, please contact Jackie Thu-Huong Wong at jwong@grace-inc.org or 916-498-3320.

(Signed)

GRACE

Children Now

Children’s Defense Fund

County Welfare Directors Association of California

First 5 CA

First 5 Los Angeles

Fresno EOC Street Saints

Home Start, Inc.

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center

Western Center on Law and Poverty

Youth Policy Institute

Actors Gang (The)

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Alliance for Children’s Rights

American Academy of Pediatrics

Barrio Logan College Institute

California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA)

California Association of Food Banks

California Catholic Conference

California Emerging Technology Fund

California Interfaith Coalition

CalEITC4ME

Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County

Child Care Law Center

Child Care Resource Center

Children’s Advocacy Institute

Children’s Institute

Children’s Network of Solano County

Clinica Romero

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Cradle to Career Fresno County

First 5 Alameda

First 5 Association of CA

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County

Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

Friends Committee on Legislation of California

Good Samaritan

Jamestown Community Center (The)

Jewish Center for Justice

John Burton Advocates for Youth

JPAC – Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California

Lutheran Office of Public Policy- CA

Marin Promise Neighborhoods

Maryvale

Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

Mission Graduates

National Association of Social Workers

National Center for Youth Law

National Council for Jewish Women

National Foster Youth Institute

Parent Voices

Pathways LA

Policy Link

Rise Together Bay Area

SALEF (Salvadorian American Leadership and Educational Fund)

Shields for Families

South Bay Community Services

United Way Bay Area

United Way California

United Way of Greater Los Angeles

###


PRESS RELEASE: State Poverty Task Force Issues Plan to End Deep Child Poverty

For Immediate Release

Contact: Yusef Robb, 323-384-1789

STATE POVERTY TASK FORCE ISSUES PLAN TO END DEEP CHILD POVERTY IN

FOUR YEARS; WOULD AFFECT 450K CA CHILDREN

Action Plan Would Also Reduce Overall Child Poverty in California by 50%, Affecting 1.9 Million Children Yearly

SACRAMENTO — The state Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force issued a concrete plan today to end deep child poverty in California in just four years when fully implemented, affecting 450,000 children. Key elements of the plan include guaranteed childcare and early childhood education for children in poverty aged 0-8, a targeted child tax credit, and increasing enrollment in critical existing services through expanded outreach and improved technology.

The action plan would also reduce overall child poverty in California by 50 percent over 20 years, affecting 1.9 million children each year.

“We present the report from the Lifting Children and Family Out of Poverty Task Force, with a great sense of both urgency and hope,” stated Task Force Co-Chairs Will Lightbourne, Director, California Department of Social Services, and Conway Collis, GRACE CEO. “When implemented, these recommendations will end deep child and family poverty in California. California will become the first state in America to have done so and will provide a model for the country,”

“When it comes to poverty in California, children are the most vulnerable and suffer the worst. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problem, but this Task Force Report shows that right now we have the opportunity to change the direction of the lives of children and ultimately the future of California,” said Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke (D-Inglewood). “The Task Force’s recommendations are rooted in sound, evidence-based data. The research proves that these investments in our children are not only cost-effective, but key to unlocking opportunities in their lives. This roadmap builds upon the work of the past and sets us on course to bend the arc of California towards justice. This report shows we can, we should, and we must eliminate deep child poverty now.”

AB1520, authored by Assemblywoman Burke and sponsored by GRACE, directed the California Department of Social Services to convene the Task Force to develop a research-and-data-driven plan to inform policymaking by the next governor and the legislature to end deep child poverty and reduce overall childhood poverty by 50 percent.

Governor-elect Gavin Newsom said he would make ending child poverty a “North Star” of his administration. This plan would end deep child poverty by the end of his first term.

“The Task Force approached its job by shedding all sacred cows and asking a simple question: ‘Can we build an evidence-based plan that ends deep child poverty in California?’ We have shown that indeed we can. By drawing on the best data, the best research, and the inspiring ideas of community leaders, the Task Force has put together a plan that will make us the first state in the country that ends deep child poverty. It’s not a band-aid plan; it’s not a stop-gap plan — it’s a back-to-fundamentals plan that eliminates deep child poverty by taking on its root causes,” said David Grusky, Ph.D., Director of the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality and a formal researcher to the Task Force, whose research and expertise was essential to its evidence-based approach and overall development.

“Having experienced prolonged periods of poverty as a child, I can tell you that poverty’s cruelty not only permeates a child’s body, but their spirit too,” said Jessica Bartholow of the Western Center on Law and Poverty and the Task Force’s Safety-Net Subcommittee Chairperson. “In my 20 years of anti-poverty organizing, program development, and policy advocacy, I have never witnessed such an earnest attempt to design a future where no child is humiliated or harmed by the insult of poverty.”

“This is not some statement of general principles. The evidence shows that when this plan is fully implemented, California will end deep child poverty in the near-term and dramatically reduce overall child poverty in the long-term. That would change hundreds of thousands of lives,” said Task Force Co-Chair and GRACE CEO, Conway Collis. “The majority of California families in poverty are working families, and they simply can’t get ahead with the cost of living and the way our systems are currently structured. This plan provides the help that California’s families need to break out of poverty. It is based on comprehensive research from Stanford, Cal, and the best research in the country, along with extensive community input. This is about results and applying a data-driven, evidence-based, community informed approach.”

The Task Force Report also elicited strong support from the business community.

“Now is the time to focus on the type of economy we hope to build for our state’s shared future prosperity. The Lifting Children and Families out of Poverty report offers a roadmap for increasing California’s capacity to support economic growth and mobility,” said Task Force Member Matthew Horton, Associate Director, California Center, Milken Institute.

David Rattray, executive vice president, Center for Educational Excellence and Talent Development, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce added:

“This plan offers our state the opportunity to eliminate an enormous burden on our budget and our economy. It’s not just fiscally responsible, it’s fiscally and economically necessary. Additionally, this data will continue to amplify our efforts in ensuring all children have access to quality education from cradle to career.”

Additional responses from California leaders and Task Force members:

“The number of children living in deep poverty is a public health crisis in California and these recommendations are important steps to stem the tide of the crisis. In particular, the CalWORKs grant increases and the targeted child tax credits are effective and efficient ways to ensure that children suffering the most have the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives. There is no time to spare, we must act now on policy recommendations that will reverse this crisis,” said Frank Mecca, Executive Director of the County Welfare Directors Association.

“To truly lift children out of poverty, we must start during pregnancy, and address both the parent and child’s needs, including high-quality child care, paid family leave, and home visiting support. That is why the recommendations of the Child Poverty Task Force are so critical. Guaranteed early care for children 0–8 in deep poverty would be a lifeline for parents to help them create pathways out of poverty,” said Task Force Member Camille Maben, Executive Director, First 5 California.

“I cannot emphasize enough how detrimental poverty and deep poverty is to a child’s health and wellbeing. Poor children are more at risk of having developmental delays, behavioral problems, experiencing obesity, as well as increased stress, which can lead to depression and other physical or mental ailments. Implementing the recommendations of this task force would be a life-changer for millions of children across the state,” said Shimica Gaskins, Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund–California and Task Force’s Special Populations Subcommittee Chairperson.

“The early years are ground-zero for California’s poverty epidemic. We have an opportunity to break an inter-generational cycle of poverty and that work begins with our kids,” said Task Force Member Kim Pattillo Brownson, Vice President of Policy and Strategy, First 5 LA and the Task Force’s Early Childhood Subcommittee Chairperson.

“One of our foundation’s areas of focus is strengthening children and families to prevent referrals to foster care. The report from the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force does an excellent job of outlining the challenge and offering key solutions to reduce child poverty in California by strengthening families,” said Task Force Member Winnie Wechsler, Executive Director, Anthony & Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation, Pritzker Foster Care Initiative.

“We believe that health is a fundamental human right, and the fact that the Task Force understood the direct relationship between health status and poverty and made strong recommendations that will improve the health of California’s children, is profound. Once again, California is a model for the nation,” said Task Force Member Jim Mangia, CEO of St. John’s Well Child and Family Center and the Task Force’s Health Subcommittee Chairperson.

Task Force Member Brian King, of Fresno EOC Street Saints, called the plan “an agile approach to make sure we don’t just move the needle on the issue of poverty, but eliminate it altogether.”

“It is no secret that many of the youth who find their way into California’s juvenile justice system live in poverty. We appreciate the Task Force’s practical policy recommendations to reduce poverty for California’s youth. CPOC strongly supports the important mission of the Task Force,” said Task Force Member and San Francisco Chief Probation Officer Allen A. Nance, Chief Probation Officers of California.

“Families in poverty struggle to find stable employment, housing, access to health care, healthy meals, and a quality education,” said Iris Zuñiga, Executive Vice President, Youth Policy Institute and the Task Force’s Coordinated Services Subcommittee Chairperson. “Place-based strategies like Promise Neighborhoods provide access to high-quality coordinated services to move families out of poverty in the short-term and decrease the chance that poverty will continue into the next generation.”

“These recommendations will advance efforts to build a comprehensive system of services to help move Californians out of poverty. The data sharing recommendations will improve the coordination and evaluation of the state’s various anti-poverty programs,” said Daniel Rounds, California Labor and Workforce Development Agency and the Task Force’s Workforce Training and Support Subcommittee Chairperson.

“With the highest rate of child poverty than any other state, California must prioritize setting the standard for supporting the well-being of children. The Task Force’s report provides the roadmap to support children in deepest poverty starting at birth. It’s time to move forward on these recommendations and ensure all of our children have the opportunity to reach their full potential,” said Ted Lempert, President, Children Now.

“California is a place of opportunity and innovation, but it’s also a state where too many children are living in poverty. The issues the Task Force raises around early childhood, education, and workforce are especially aligned with Ballmer Group’s belief that every child, regardless of zip code or family circumstance, deserves a chance to achieve the American Dream,” said Task Force member Nina Revoyr, Executive Director-Los Angeles, Ballmer Group.

The report issued by the Task Force pegs the cost of the four-year plan to eliminate deep child poverty for 450,000 California children starting at 1.6 billion the first year. If concentrated as a population, 450,000 would represent the state’s eighth largest city — larger than Oakland, twice as large as San Bernardino, and just smaller than Long Beach. When fully realized, savings generated by lifting these children from poverty would total $12 billion annually, on an ongoing basis, representing a dramatic return on investment.

See report: http://www.endchildpovertyca.org/#theplan

See the report and additional Task Force information on the CDSS site here.

Task Force members: https://bit.ly/2xkBdR1 (EDS: For interview, contact Robb, above)

California has the highest number of children and highest percentage of children living in poverty of any state in the nation — almost 2 million children, who represent one out of every five California kids. Deep poverty is defined as families living at or below 50 percent of the federal poverty line, or less than about $12,500 for a family of four. In addition, 204,000 California children experience homelessness.

GRACE (Gather, Respect, Advocate, Change, Engage), was formed by the Daughters of Charity in 2012 and is dedicated to research, education, and advocacy to reduce child and family poverty in California. After collaborating on groundbreaking research with the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, last year GRACE sponsored legislation authored by Assemblywoman Autumn Burke that created the state Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, which was directed to develop a comprehensive plan to end deep child poverty and reduce California’s nation-leading level of child and family poverty.

###


Put poverty on your Thanksgiving Menu

Thanksgiving is here, which means it’s time for us to come together, set aside our diets, and celebrate our messy, beautiful families. Every year we talk about the things we’re thankful for, but this year let’s show our gratitude by trying to make the world—and California, in particular—a better place.

Tell us how your family does Thanksgiving, and we’ll give you a way to help the 1.9 million California kids living in poverty.

However you celebrate Thanksgiving, we wish the best for you and your loved ones.

 


Stay tuned! Our New Campaign Launch Is Around the Corner

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.

 


Letter to the Editor

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.

Article originally published in the LA Times.

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,

Sincerely,
Conway Collis


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