GRACE & ECPCA Statement on CA Legislature’s Joint Budget Proposal

Statement by Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO of GRACE/End Child Poverty CA:

“We are celebrating today’s announcement that the legislature’s latest budget deal includes a $100 million on-going commitment for HOPE accounts. Creating HOPE accounts for the tens of thousands of California children who lost a parent to COVID and long-term foster youth provides targeted support to our state’s most vulnerable children. The creation of HOPE accounts sets California onto a path for a brighter future, as we can proudly say that we are establishing baby bonds while also building a framework the state can build upon to shrink the racial wealth gap in our state and change the trajectory for millions of California children.

“We are grateful to Senator Nancy Skinner for championing the HOPE for Children Act and to our partners, Liberation in a Generation and End Poverty in California (EPIC), for working alongside GRACE & End Child Poverty CA to fight for this critical program to remain in the final budget.

“A budget is a statement of a state’s values, and this commitment to HOPE accounts makes it clear that California values our children. We urge the Governor to move quickly to sign this budget into law to ensure we can make an immediate down payment on our promise to give every child in California a chance to succeed.”


RELEASE: End Child Poverty California Response to Governor’s Announcement of Aid for Undocumented Californians

APRIL 15, 2020

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.  

“I’ve never been prouder to be a Californian.” 

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

End Child Poverty California 2020 Los Angeles Launch image

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

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

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

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

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

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

Help make the L.A. 2020 Launch great:

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

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

==> Sign the 2020 petition to our leaders.

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

==> Download and print flyers to put up:

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

#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.

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

Let’s Get Loud: Social Media for End Child Poverty Plan Budget Hearings

Big decisions are being made right now about the End Child Poverty Plan. Let’s make our voices loud: 450,000 kids living in deep poverty depend on it. 

The CA Legislature is in the middle of its budget process. Leaders are deciding where money goes and which programs get funded. We know that these End Child Poverty Plan recommendations take financial commitment:

  1. The Targeted Child Tax Credit
  2. Expanded CalWORKs grants
  3. An expanded California Earned Income Tax Credit

These three programs will eliminate deep child poverty and have a significant impact in reducing overall child poverty. We need to make sure our leaders know we want them funded. The State Assembly Budget Committee on Tax Credits meets to discuss budget priorities at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 12. 

Here’s what to do:

  1. Send a tweet or two (tweets & social graphics below)
  2. Make a call (script & phone numbers below)
  3. Join us at the hearing at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, 3/12 (RSVP details below)


Copy, paste, and download a graphic OR push “click to tweet” without a graphic.


A strong California economy should make all of us stronger. Let’s support #CalEITC #CalWORKs and a #TargetedChildTaxCredit. With these powers combined, we can end deep child poverty. @autumnrburke @AsmJimCooper @GavinNewsom @Rendon63rd @PhilTing #EndChildPoverty #PassThePlan


We can END poverty for 450K kids in CA with this triple threat:

-a Targeted Child Tax Credit

-an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit

-expanded CalWORKs

Let’s dream big: #EndChildPoverty #PassThePlan


Young or old. Big or small. Brave or bold… The California Dream is for ALL OF US. Let’s push for a #TargetedChildTaxCredit and expanded #CalEITC & #CalWORKs so the CA Dream is in reach for everyone. #EndChildPoverty #PassThePlan


Californians are doing everything they can to make ends meet. That’s why ALL low-income workers in CA should get the Earned Income Tax Credit. Spread the word—the #CalEITC is for everyone. @autumnrburke @AsmJimCooper @GavinNewsom @Rendon63rd @PhilTing


  1. Committee Chair Asm. Jim Cooper: (916) 319-2009
  2. Committee Chair Asm. Autumn Burke: (916) 319-2062 


Hi, my name is ___. I live in ___. I’m calling, in advance of this week’s budget hearing, to support the End Child Poverty Plan. Almost half a million kids in our state live in extreme poverty. This is a moral crisis. Please help by supporting a Targeted Child Tax Credit and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and CalWORKs for low-income families and families in deep poverty. I support the California Dream for all of us. Thank you!

3. JOIN US for the hearing on 3/12 at 1:30 p.m. in Sacramento

We want to pack the room with as many End Child Poverty Plan supporters as we can. We’ve already heard from legislators that they’re seeing our red stickers all over the capitol. We need to keep it up! If you can make it, email Evelyn at evelyn@grace-inc.org to let us know you want to come. You can also mark your calendar for one of our next big dates:

  1. March 25 hearing for SB 298 (Caballero) the End Child Poverty Act
  2. April 11 Senate Budget Committee Hearing

Thank you! The End Child Poverty Plan is a coordinated set of solutions that will eliminate deep child poverty and cut overall child poverty in half. Stay tuned for more action opportunities focused on these and the other End Child Poverty Plan recommendations.

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


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.



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


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


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


ECPCA-2019 Bus Tour

Gov. Newsom Signs Historic Budget

John Lewis, Civil Rights Leader

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