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John Lewis Dancing & Speaking in Los Angeles

Civil Rights Hero and Congressmember John Lewis died Friday, July 17, 2020. His light, guidance and words remain very much with us.

Three years ago, Rep. Lewis led the rally that launched GRACE’s End Child Poverty in California campaign. He told us: “Never, ever give up on any child. Never.”

Here is a clip of Congressman Lewis leading the rally kicking off GRACE’s End Child Poverty California campaign in 2017. It is inspiring.

Here are additional photos from the event we are proud to share. Rest in power, John Lewis.


End Child Poverty California Movement Meets with Congress Members to Urge Support for Children and Families

End Child Poverty movement co-chairs Dolores Huerta and Conway Collis, alongside dozens of End Child Poverty California movement partners, have begun speaking directly with members of Congress in California and now others across the country during the COVID-19 crisis. In the video advocacy calls, partners are sharing stories of what they are seeing on the ground as the crisis continues to unfold:

  • desperate need for cash-in-hand for families
  • food banks running out of food
  • transition-age foster youth with nowhere to go
  • parents in tears finding out they qualify for money in tax credits
  • community health clinics trying to get enough PPE as prices increase tenfold

Partners are also sharing clear ways that families and children in crisis can be supported in the next stimulus and relief package. The goal of the End Child Poverty California movement is clear: all children deserve to be healthy, fed and housed–in crisis and every day.

Thank you Representatives Adam Schiff, Anna Eshoo, Karen Bass, Ted Lieu and Zoe Lofgren for being champions for children and families.


Read additional stories of impact on our California stories page.


Video Call with Rep. Rosa DeLauro, 5/22/20

“I have been fighting for the child tax credit since 2003. We have a child tax credit system in place. Today it leaves out ⅓ of children, and families, because they earn too little. I’ve been fighting since the first CARES package, to get expansion of child tax credit, and it’s now full blown in this HEROES act. It’s fully refundable, so it brings those who have been left out and brings them in. If it’s done it will lift nearly one half of children out of poverty. The child tax credit is all about ending child poverty. I support direct payments, but the direct payments will go away the way they did in 2009. The mechanism, the foundation, the structure of the child tax credit is there, we need to build on it, we only have it for this year.”

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-CT

“We have served double the amount of people we usually serve on a monthly basis. We don’t just want to continue to serve people in crises, as important as it is. We want to provide the pathway to independence. We know that while we as professionals, or people who are doing work each and every day, we have statistics and individual stories, but there’s no better advocate than the individual who is actually experiencing a particular circumstance and has been able to develop his or her voice, to be sure that the story gets told in an authentic way.”

Bonita Grubbs, Executive Director, Christian Community Action

Video Call with Rep. Jimmy Gomez, 5/12/20

What motivates me is how working class people deal with daily life everything from how they work, how they make money, how do they get health care, how do they pay for their rent, their mortgage, based on my own experience, growing up without health care, seeing my parents work multiple jobs, seeing how these programs really provide a lifeline and even a boost up to really change their lives. Since coronavirus hit, how do we make sure how these people don’t get left behind? The coronavirus isn’t creating a health crisis, the disparities were already there. We’re trying to make sure that when we come out of this, we don’t have a further divide between the haves and the have nots.

Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-CA

We are seeing unbelievable needs. In the last 6 weeks we’ve already distributed 30,000 diapers, thousands of meals and other essentials like soap, and the demand is getting greater every day. We’ve provided 700 digital devices to preschool-age kids, because the digital divide affects them too, not just the K-12 students.  We are the safety net — the wraparound services – and we’re keeping kids engaged. At one of our partner schools in Watts, out of 350 students, 150 are unaccounted for. We’re really looking at a lost generation of students at this point. The services for pre-k through community college are so crucial.

Martine Singer, President & CEO, Children’s Institute

Video Call with Rep. Zoe Lofgren, 5/1/20

I’m grateful to all of you. I’m grateful for the work you do supporting children and families every day. We’ve taken note of every single effort you’ve raised. We will go to the speaker re-energized by this call, outlining the issues you’ve emphasized in particular, to see what we can get. We need substantial resources to the states… and [to] programs and nonprofits that are feeding children, housing children… we’re going to do our very best.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-CA

80% of people coming into get food now are coming in to get it for the first time. The situation is dire. We’re dealing with three crises at once: the pandemic, the economic collapse, and massive hunger.

Father Jon Pedigo, Catholic Charities Santa Clara County

Video Call with Rep. Anna Eshoo, 4/30/20

I want to say “thank you” to all the participants and the extraordinary work that you do day in and day out…We’re talking about people that are hungry, we’re talking about people who need nutrition, we’re talking about food banks that are running out of money. The case is clear that much more needs to be done. This is an important conversation that we’ve had today. I’ll do everything I can humanly do to address these things.

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-CA

Because of the existing fragility of the system of care, a recent national analysis showed that we could lose up to 4.5 million child care slots as a result of this crisis, including losing an estimated 51% in California if child care providers don’t receive support in the next few weeks.

Stacy Lee, Children Now

Video Call with Rep. Adam Schiff, 4/28/20

[W]e are seeing so much of society through the lens of this pandemic and it’s revealing so many of the changes we need to make. We need to ‘build back better.’ We need to take care of those most in need and also build the county back better than where we found it. [We can] emerge stronger as a result. In the meantime, we need to make sure families can get through this. 

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA

[The increased child tax credit] is one way that these families will be able to put food on the table, pay the rent… this is one way that families can sustain themselves. We’re glad for your leadership and we know you’re going to be our champion.

Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta, Dolores Huerta Foundation

Video Call with Rep. Ted Lieu, 4/28/20

Thank you for being on this call and fighting the good fight. [The latest relief packages] are a necessary first step but not enough, far to small and far too short. 

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA

What we’re seeing is our communities falling deeper into poverty. We’ve been working on workers rights and protecting against exploitation. Over the last few weeks those calls have stopped and all the calls we’re getting are from people who are no longer employed at all. Oftentimes folks in our communities don’t have access…state agencies are overwhelmed… Looking at the expansion of the child tax credit–it’s a really critical piece to enhance income for low-income families and ultimately help families to get the cash assistance they need.

Aileen Louie, Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Video Call with Rep. Karen Bass, 3/26/20

When you have a crisis like this, you don’t know how your communities are going to be impacted. It’s why the work you’re doing is critically important. We need to educate about poverty. Everything your campaign is doing is lifting everyone’s education. You’re setting an example that can be replicated across the country.

This is a pandemic. It doesn’t discriminate based on whether a person is documented or undocumented. We will not succeed in a fourth package unless we organize. We’re talking about bringing together the entire civil rights and social justice community. We need to be very prescriptive in what we need to get passed and then fight for it. 

Rep. Karen Bass, D-CA, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus

These Federal legislative visits have averaged 45 participants per call for a total of 276 participants across six calls to-date (5-20-20).


Support #SB1103 & #SB1409 California’s Current End Child Poverty Plan Legislation

Lesly Henriquez smiling at the camera wearing a maroon tank top.

Join us: ask leaders to pass two important pieces of legislation right now that fight economic inequality. We want to build a better California with high-wage, high-earning jobs for solid futures. We want families to get the support they need without obstacles. We don’t want to recover from crisis to the way things were before.

Your clicks matter in getting these two End Child Poverty Plan policies passed now:

  • SB 1103 the High Roads Workforce Training Program focuses on making sure promising workers don’t face obstacles to finishing job training programs (authored by Sen. Melissa Hurtado)
  • SB 1409 the CalEITC autofiling pilot tests out a way to get Californians who qualify for critical tax credits auto-enrolled so that we can cut red tape and get families the money they are owed. This money goes directly into local communities and supports children and families (authored by Sen. Anna Caballero)

We must recover from COVID-19 into a new California
that prioritizes equity.

↓↓ More ways to raise your voice ↓↓

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The High Roads Workforce Training Program removes obstacles to great jobs. #SB1103 is economic justice at work. Let’s take the #HighRoadToRecovery. @portantino @SenatorPatBates @SteveBradford @SenBrianJones @SenatorLeyva @BobWieckowskiCA @SenToniAtkins #CALeg #EndChildPovertyCA

Let’s remove roadblocks that stop youth from launching careers. With #HighRoadToRecovery, Eustolia can build her future again.➡️Pass #SB1103⬅️@portantino @SenatorPatBates @SteveBradford @SenBrianJones @SenatorLeyva @BobWieckowskiCA @SenToniAtkins #CALeg https://youtu.be/ZwNa3Sub-2g 

We believe in the power of proven poverty-fighting tools like #CalEITC. Let’s make it simpler for everyone who qualifies to get it. #SB1409#EndChildPovertyCA#CutRedTape@portantino@SenatorPatBates@SteveBradford@SenBrianJones@SenatorLeyva@BobWieckowskiCA@SenToniAtkins

Call A Leader on the Senate Appropriations Committee

These two bills need to pass out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Choose an elected leader on the committee to call:

  • Senator Anthony J. Portantino (Chair) (916) 651-4025
  • Senator Patricia C. Bates (Vice Chair) (916) 651-4036
  • Senator Steven Bradford (916) 651-4035
  • Senator Jerry Hill (916) 651-4013
  • Senator Brian Jones (916) 651-4038
  • Senator Connie M. Leyva (916) 651-4020
  • Senator Bob Wieckowski (916) 651-4010

Hi, my name is _________ and I live in __________. Thanks so much for everything you’re doing to help communities recover from COVID-19. I’m calling to ask for your support of two bills that are part of California’s End Child Poverty Plan: SB 1103 and SB 1409.

The High Roads Workforce Training Program, Senate Bill 1103, will create pathways to high-wage jobs for disconnected youth, youth-at-risk and farm workers. These Californians face some of the biggest roadblocks to recovery. This bill is a chance for California to offer new, better futures for people living in poverty. 

The CalEITC autofiling pilot tests out a way to get low-income Californians the money they are owed in important tax credits. This money is a life-saver for families and helps parents take care of kids.

Thank you!

Give Love and Share on Instagram

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Share These Videos

  1. Sophia speaks in support of SB 1103 and discusses trying to build her future while managing school, full-time fast-food work, and parenting: https://vimeo.com/427918005 
  2. Lesly talks about the critical importance of having child care in order to fulfill career dreams: https://vimeo.com/427916652
  3. Eustolia talks about how not having transportation stopped her from finishing her welding program even though she was at the top of the class and a consistent over-achiever: https://youtu.be/ZwNa3Sub-2g 
  4. Alicia talks about how youth who have to work multiple jobs to help their families can’t access may internship and training opportunities: https://youtu.be/JeQHZuGOxlw

RELEASE: Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Province of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, Statement on the Death of George Floyd


Dear Partners and Supporters,

I want to share the statement below with you from GRACE’s sponsors, the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, Province of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (part of Daughters of Charity USA) on the murder of George Floyd expressing the outrage and commitment to action that we all feel in the deepest part of our being.  

GRACE/End Child Poverty CA commits to working with you on specific actions to eliminate racism in every part of American life, including law enforcement. 

Conway

Conway Collis
President and CEO of GRACE & End Child Poverty California


June 5, 2020 

Statement on the Death of George Floyd 

We, the Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul USA, unite our hearts, voices, prayers, presence, and action with those of people of goodwill around the globe in affirming that black lives matter. 

We. Are. Outraged. 

The charity of Christ impels us to speak out, as yet another black man has died at the hands of law enforcement. Actions by those in authority in our law enforcement system reveal again and again a broken system of chronic racism that hurts humanity. 

We call for an immediate cessation of racist actions against people of color by all in positions of authority including all levels of law enforcement, legal systems, and governments. We call for national systemic change eradicating racism and eliminating white supremacy and white privilege. 

We. Are. In solidarity. 

When a sister or brother begs for help, begs for life, begs for air, begs to be released, and ultimately succumbs to death due to asphyxiation, we all symbolically suffocate. Our hearts ache with sorrow for Mr. Floyd’s friends and family, some still too young to comprehend the magnitude of the appalling circumstances resulting in their father’s unjust and agonizing death at the hands of out of control law enforcement. 

We applaud Minnesota Attorney General, Keith Ellison, and the Minnesota legal system for taking firm action to indict all four officers involved covertly or overtly in the death of our brother, George Floyd. 

We. Are. Committed to Action. 

As women given to God, in community, to serve Christ in the those who are poor, we pledge to confront racism within ourselves and where we encounter it. We pledge to live Catholic Social Teaching. We join with others in the faith community in acknowledging our own complicity in institutional racism and we ask forgiveness of our sisters and brothers of color. We pledge to join others in building the Kingdom of God. 

“We must love our neighbor as being made in the
image of God and as an object of His love.”
St. Vincent de Paul 

# # #

The Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul of the United States of America comprises two Provinces of nearly 500 sisters serving in social services, prison ministry, health care, education, immigration, prevention of trafficking, and more. 


Child Care & End Child Poverty Joint Advocacy Day for June Budget

Child Care & End Child Poverty Virtual Advocacy Day

June 4, 2020

For event registration and schedule of events, click here.

Due to the devastation of COVID-19, California’s economy has been pummeled into a recession deeper than we have seen since the Great Depression. Our robust pre-COVID economy still didn’t make it possible for California’s families to make ends meet, especially families of color. The current pandemic has put a spotlight on the inequities in our current economic structures that disproportionately impact women, communities of color, the unhoused and elderly.

In crisis, we also have opportunity.

As FDR crafted the New Deal, he knew that the nation needed more than response, more than recovery. He called for the reform of systems that were meant to take care of all of us. In this moment, we have the opportunity to create a path to recovery that reforms systems and builds a more inclusive economy. We envision a post-pandemic California that prioritizes the economic stability of California families: Black and Brown, documented and undocumented, who continue to be the backbone of Califnorna’s economic success.  We do this together by building strong and supported early care and education programs, ensuring food and housing security for families, and providing access to the funds parents and caregivers need to care for their families.

We know the coronavirus crisis’ health and economic effects are devastating–California’s unemployment rate is projected by the Department of Finance to reach 24 percent–and the challenges ahead are formidable.

THE CRITICAL NEED

Prior to COVID-19, California–the fifth largest economy in the world–had the highest poverty rate with almost 2 million children living in poverty and 450 thousand in extreme poverty.

According to the California Budget and Policy Center, communities of color face much higher child poverty rates and less access to resources. The child poverty rates are 31% for Latinx children, 28% for Black children, 18% for other children of color, and 12% for White children.

Among the one in five Americans who have lost jobs during the pandemic, researchers have found that those hit the hardest financially were the least educated and lowest paid, further exacerbating the impact on children and families of color.

A shocking 31 percent of Californians report food insecurity, approximately 12 million people–nearly triple the pre-COVID level. Rates are even higher for households with children, and higher still for families of color. With the summer upon us, when hunger among K-12 students increases, many children are at risk of not having a single nutritious meal in a day.

Prior to COVID-19, only one in nine qualified children had a voucher to access a family child care home or center. With the addition of prioritizing the needs of income-eligible essential workers on the front lines, it’s estimated over 2.5 million children will not have access to child care.

Compounding the child care crisis are the numbers of family child care providers and centers that permanently shuttered during the pandemic, estimated by some to be about 70 percent of the existing child care capacity.

To not only maintain some fragment of a safety net for our poorest families and children, as well as to support a foundation from which to grow, strategic investments must be made. This devastation will reach every corner of California’s population, yet together we can make strategic changes to strengthen our future.

To best support California’s working families and lessen the devastating impact of this crisis, we bring forward the following policy and budget recommendations.

THE JUNE BUDGET SOLUTIONS

Family poverty and child poverty is best addressed by:

  • Ending the exclusion of undocumented families from economic public policy by extending California’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Young Child Tax Credit (YCTC) to ITIN filers and establishing an undocumented worker safety net similar to unemployment insurance (in accordance with Asm. Kalra’s  budget proposal).
  • Continuing to bolster our income support programs, especially during this time by 1) Keeping the CalEITC Outreach and VITA program funding, and 2) support innovative ways to streamline direct payments to families (SB 1409 – Caballero).
  • Investing in effective workforce training programs that lead to high wage jobs with benefits and provide the supports that will lead to success for poor communities and disconnected youth (SB 1103 – Hurtado).
  • Restoring the 60-month time clock in CalWORKS, as recommended by the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, and pausing the time clock for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. (AB 2567 – Burke & Budget Request)

Child care and early learning access is best addressed by:

  • Rejecting the 10% Reimbursement Rate Cut to Family Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers
    • In the last ten years, child care providers had only one solid rate increase, in 2016. The rate cut proposed will drop voucher rates to roughly $2.37 and $9.96 per hour roughly, dependent on the type of care. For high quality centers, the rates fall to $43.45 full-day and $26.91 part-day.
    • Governor Newsom issued Executive Order (EO) N-45-201 and CDE Management Bulletin 20-042, variable work schedules and provided a guarantee to providers that hold a slot open for a child. If this EO is not made permanent, families with this type of schedule will simply lose access to care.
  • Supporting $125 million in one-time stipends for state-subsidized child care providers offering care during the pandemic
  • Redirecting $152.3 million to fund additional AP spaces for income-eligible essential workers and children-at-risk
  • Removing the sunset for the distribution of $50 million for essential workers to access child care and $50 million for family child care providers and centers to secure needed supplies
  • Rejecting the $100 million cut to the Afterschool Education and Safety Program that is part of the continuum of early care and education programs for families struggling to make ends meet

Food security is strengthened by:

  • Investing in School Meals for All
    • Ensuring schools continue to serve non-congregate meals during the summer break
    • Supporting schools to adopt the Community Eligibility Provision, which allows schools to draw down additional federal funding to serve meals free to all students
  • Rejecting the governor’s Supplemental Security Income (SSI) cut that would harm over 100,000 children and supporting the Senate’s proposal
  • Supporting AB 3073 (Wicks) so that eligible people leaving jail or prison are receiving CalFresh and able to support the needs of their families
  • Supporting SB 882 (Weiner) so that new CalFresh applicants are able to access a simplified application and virtual process  

We believe all our children deserve to be healthy, fed, and housed. This month’s budget is a blueprint for rebuilding, and a stake in the ground for how we want to build a better and more inclusive economy that will not leave any one community behind. Our families, particularly families of color, cannot bear the brunt of severe cuts that will push them deeper into poverty. Instead, we need to reinvest in the core infrastructures of child care, housing, food, workforce programs, transportation and health care that intertwine to lift families up. Our ultimate goal is a robust safety net for families and children that allows for the building and preservation of wealth. The last recession levied devastating cuts on California’s most vulnerable members that we’re still struggling to recover from. Meaningful investments in families now will strengthen California’s economy as we rebuild together, while strengthening families for future challenges we may face. Let’s work together to make California fiscally healthy again while supporting the diverse needs of our families.


JOIN US: End Child Poverty CA & Child Care Virtual Advocacy Day, 6-4-20

Join us as we bring child care, anti-hunger and anti-poverty organizations together to rise up and speak out to rebuild a California that ensures families are fed, house, cared for and thriving!
This upcoming Thursday, 6-4-20, from 9am-4pm, online.
[EVENT INFO & RSVP LINK BELOW]

On June 4, 2020, we’re coming together as advocates–child care, food programs, safety net, and anti-poverty champions–for our first all digital “Child Care and End Child Poverty CA Advocacy Day.” Our landscape has shifted significantly. Let’s raise our unified voices in support of California’s kids and families. The needs are urgent and we want to provide both immediate relief and solutions to build back better.  On June 4th, we’ll advocate for budget proposals that keep families fed, keep child care providers open, and commit to lifting families out of poverty. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unmet need is growing exponentially, yet California is facing an unprecedented budget deficit: we need our decision makers in Sacramento to hear from the field on the impact of this pandemic, and what supports need to be improved during recovery. Don’t miss this impactful day of action!

The day will start with an advocate training online for community members, partner organizations, and anyone interested in learning more about these issues. The training will include overviews on the budget asks that our field is facing, and we will hear from policy experts and legislative staff on the work being done prior to the June 15th budget deadline. Following the training, we will hold a series of Legislative Briefings to inform legislators and their staff about the impact of this budget on child care and food and safety net programs. We will then give attendees the opportunity to reach out to their legislators individually, via phone and/or email to elevate the priority asks. We will close out the day with a community wide Twitter Storm! 

Planned Schedule of Events

All events will take place virtually. A packet of information and applicable Zoom links will be sent prior to 6/4. 

Wednesday, June 3:
11am: Twitter chat hosted by CAPPA and End Child Poverty CA

Thursday, June 4
9:00-10:00am: Advocate Training via Zoom 
10:00am-5:00pm: Individual Legislative Follow Up ( on own via phone/email)
10:30am-11:30am: Legislative Briefing #1 
1:30pm-2:30pm:  Legislative Briefing #2
3:00pm-4:00pm:  Twitter Storm 


His Own Words: Kenneth Chancey, National Foster Youth Institute, “We must end child poverty NOW, and break a system that has resulted in the loss of… too many of our young brothers and sisters”

Kenneth Chancey, Policy and Organizing Manager, National Foster Youth Institute

I have been homeless. I resided at the Union Rescue Mission in Skid Row for two years with my father and younger sister, just over a decade ago. My father was, and still is, a very capable parent – a fact conceded by the Los Angeles Superior Court system when he was ordered full custody during a hearing between my parents. Instead of ensuring housing could be provided for us as a family unit, he was tasked with providing a roof over our head, and a social worker recommended Union Rescue Mission. In 2008, that is where we went – assigned a room just large enough for two bunk beds and a mini-fridge, with a court order that included mandated therapy, case worker visits, parenting classes for my father, and supervised visits anytime we wanted to see my youngest brother who was still in the system. 

I am sure much thought went into the decision to release my sister and I to my father. The case went on for years and the court order provided the stability I had long yearned for, even if it resulted in me living in a small room, in one of the longest running homeless shelters in Skid Row. The court order was not well-rounded though. Most importantly, it was missing housing assistance – I was ordered to live on Skid Row by the Los Angeles County child welfare system (please let that sink in), and it wasn’t temporary, nor was it transitional. It was missing clothing assistance – my sister and I relied on the Union Rescue Mission’s “closet” to replace what we lost moving from placement to placement while we were in care. It was missing flexibility – my father was forced to miss work and needed income to fulfill his parenting class mandates, and to maintain his custody of his children. It was missing care – with my little brother’s placement forcing my sister and I on the bus to go see him, it meant we didn’t see him as often as we’d hoped; It was a 3 hour bus ride for us, but a 45 minute drive for my little brother’s case worker. It was missing love – a reminder that there was no impactful follow-up nor beneficial regard for what our lives would look like years after we were ordered out of the child welfare system. 

I lost my sister to the streets when she was 24, a transition aged youth, on September 13, 2017. She was homeless, and the Los Angeles County child welfare system failed her. I miss her everyday, and everyday of my life I work to lift the voices of the transition aged youth who are still here. I have helped Fortune 500 companies at a PR Firm, and I have written legislation for one of the largest cities in the country: Los Angeles. But I have loved no work more than the work at The National Foster Youth Institute, and alongside the End Child Poverty California campaign, which allows me to hear the stories of young people who remind me of my younger sister. 

Kenneth Chancey from National Foster Youth Institute speaking at the End Child Poverty California January 2020 Los Angeles Organizing Launch

While the child welfare system is menacing and traumatizing, young people who have emancipated from the system have more than just strength and tenacity – they have found in themselves a reason to live and to continue pushing forward. Despite a system that seems to be designed to keep them at their lowest, I have met young poets and creative artists whose empowering work gives me goosebumps. Despite a system that habitually seeks to destroy the will of our youth, I have met some of the most unbreakable spirits who, despite being unable to access love in the child welfare system, continue to love with abundance, even for those who loved them too little. Despite a system designed to control youth in it’s care, I have met young people whose optimism for their future demonstrates they are in full command of their own destinies and their freedom. 

The trials young adults must overcome as a result of the child welfare system create significant barriers to growth, but despite it all, tens of thousands of transition-aged youth continue to push forward. We are all worthy of love. And when my sister was experiencing her darkest moments, a system designed to protect her should have been there to catch her when she fell off her feet – to show her she was worthy of love. It wasn’t there for my sister, but as we navigate a most uncertain future, it must be there for those young adults who are still here.

For those aspiring artists and freedom fighters, for those parents seeking to provide the best for their kids, for young survivors of the system like myself who have had to question their success every step of the way, we must end child poverty NOW, and break a system that has resulted in the loss of life of too many of our young brothers and sisters.

We must bring about an end to a vicious cycle that oppresses liveliness, and conditions our youth to cope with a broken system we know needs beneficial transformation. It will take a village, but we must demonstrate respect for our youth and provide them with the love they are worthy of receiving.


Kenneth Chancey, Policy and Organizing Manager, National Foster Youth Institute


The National Foster Youth Institute is a partner of the End Child Poverty California movement. We are incredibly proud to have the support of Kenneth and The National Foster Youth Institute as part of our movement. To read more stories of how Californian’s are being impacted, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, head over to our California Stories page.


End Child Poverty California Movement Meets with Congress Members to Urge Support for Children and Families

End Child Poverty movement co-chairs Dolores Huerta and Conway Collis, alongside dozens of End Child Poverty California movement partners, have begun speaking directly with members of Congress in California and now others across the country during the COVID-19 crisis. In the video advocacy calls, partners are sharing stories of what they are seeing on the ground as the crisis continues to unfold:

  • desperate need for cash-in-hand for families
  • food banks running out of food
  • transition-age foster youth with nowhere to go
  • parents in tears finding out they qualify for money in tax credits
  • community health clinics trying to get enough PPE as prices increase tenfold

Partners are also sharing clear ways that families and children in crisis can be supported in the next stimulus and relief package. The goal of the End Child Poverty California movement is clear: all children deserve to be healthy, fed and housed–in crisis and every day.

Thank you Representatives Adam Schiff, Anna Eshoo, Karen Bass, Ted Lieu and Zoe Lofgren for being champions for children and families.


Read additional stories of impact on our California stories page.


Video Call with Rep. Jimmy Gomez, 5/12/20

What motivates me is how working class people deal with daily life everything from how they work, how they make money, how do they get health care, how do they pay for their rent, their mortgage, based on my own experience, growing up without health care, seeing my parents work multiple jobs, seeing how these programs really provide a lifeline and even a boost up to really change their lives. Since coronavirus hit, how do we make sure how these people don’t get left behind? The coronavirus isn’t creating a health crisis, the disparities were already there. We’re trying to make sure that when we come out of this, we don’t have a further divide between the haves and the have nots.

Rep. Jimmy Gomez, D-CA

We are seeing unbelievable needs. In the last 6 weeks we’ve already distributed 30,000 diapers, thousands of meals and other essentials like soap, and the demand is getting greater every day. We’ve provided 700 digital devices to preschool-age kids, because the digital divide affects them too, not just the K-12 students.  We are the safety net — the wraparound services – and we’re keeping kids engaged. At one of our partner schools in Watts, out of 350 students, 150 are unaccounted for. We’re really looking at a lost generation of students at this point. The services for pre-k through community college are so crucial.

Martine Singer, President & CEO, Children’s Institute

Video Call with Rep. Zoe Lofgren, 5/1/20

I’m grateful to all of you. I’m grateful for the work you do supporting children and families every day. We’ve taken note of every single effort you’ve raised. We will go to the speaker re-energized by this call, outlining the issues you’ve emphasized in particular, to see what we can get. We need substantial resources to the states… and [to] programs and nonprofits that are feeding children, housing children… we’re going to do our very best.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-CA

80% of people coming into get food now are coming in to get it for the first time. The situation is dire. We’re dealing with three crises at once: the pandemic, the economic collapse, and massive hunger.

Father Jon Pedigo, Catholic Charities Santa Clara County

Video Call with Rep. Anna Eshoo, 4/30/20

I want to say “thank you” to all the participants and the extraordinary work that you do day in and day out…We’re talking about people that are hungry, we’re talking about people who need nutrition, we’re talking about food banks that are running out of money. The case is clear that much more needs to be done. This is an important conversation that we’ve had today. I’ll do everything I can humanly do to address these things.

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-CA

Because of the existing fragility of the system of care, a recent national analysis showed that we could lose up to 4.5 million child care slots as a result of this crisis, including losing an estimated 51% in California if child care providers don’t receive support in the next few weeks.

Stacy Lee, Children Now

Video Call with Rep. Adam Schiff, 4/28/20

[W]e are seeing so much of society through the lens of this pandemic and it’s revealing so many of the changes we need to make. We need to ‘build back better.’ We need to take care of those most in need and also build the county back better than where we found it. [We can] emerge stronger as a result. In the meantime, we need to make sure families can get through this. 

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-CA

[The increased child tax credit] is one way that these families will be able to put food on the table, pay the rent… this is one way that families can sustain themselves. We’re glad for your leadership and we know you’re going to be our champion.

Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta, Dolores Huerta Foundation

Video Call with Rep. Ted Lieu, 4/28/20

Thank you for being on this call and fighting the good fight. [The latest relief packages] are a necessary first step but not enough, far to small and far too short. 

Rep. Ted Lieu, D-CA

What we’re seeing is our communities falling deeper into poverty. We’ve been working on workers rights and protecting against exploitation. Over the last few weeks those calls have stopped and all the calls we’re getting are from people who are no longer employed at all. Oftentimes folks in our communities don’t have access…state agencies are overwhelmed… Looking at the expansion of the child tax credit–it’s a really critical piece to enhance income for low-income families and ultimately help families to get the cash assistance they need.

Aileen Louie, Asian Americans Advancing Justice

Video Call with Rep. Karen Bass, 3/26/20

When you have a crisis like this, you don’t know how your communities are going to be impacted. It’s why the work you’re doing is critically important. We need to educate about poverty. Everything your campaign is doing is lifting everyone’s education. You’re setting an example that can be replicated across the country.

This is a pandemic. It doesn’t discriminate based on whether a person is documented or undocumented. We will not succeed in a fourth package unless we organize. We’re talking about bringing together the entire civil rights and social justice community. We need to be very prescriptive in what we need to get passed and then fight for it. 

Rep. Karen Bass, D-CA, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus

These Federal legislative visits have averaged 45 participants per call for a total of 276 participants across six calls to-date (5-20-20).


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.” 


Pope’s Easter Letter to Movements: “Change Is Possible”

An adolescent with brown hair smiles as she holds up a sign that reads, "Tiempo de Accion" or "Time for Action."

This has been a different Easter season for us all, full of change–physical and emotional. We know that the COVID-19 crisis is producing both trauma and togetherness. As we reflect and move forward with purpose and unity to end child poverty in California and beyond, we take inspiration and fuel from the Pope’s 2020 Easter letter below.


I urge you to reflect on “life after the pandemic,” for while this storm shall pass, its grave consequences are already being felt. You are not helpless. You have the culture, the method, and most of all, the wisdom that are kneaded with the leaven of feeling the suffering of others as your own. I want all of us to think about the project of integral human development that we long for and that is based on the central role and initiative of the people in all their diversity, as well as on universal access to those three Ts that you defend: Trabajo (work), Techo (housing), and Tierra (land and food) .

Pope Francis

Dear Friends,

I often recall our previous meetings: two at the Vatican and one in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, and I must tell you that this “souvenir” warms my heart. It brings me closer to you, and helps me re-live so many dialogues we had during those times. I think of all the beautiful projects that emerged from those conversations and took shape and have become reality. Now, in the midst of this pandemic, I think of you in a special way and wish to express my closeness to you.

In these days of great anxiety and hardship, many have used war-like metaphors to refer to the pandemic we are experiencing. If the struggle against COVID-19 is a war, then you are truly an invisible army, fighting in the most dangerous trenches; an army whose only weapons are solidarity, hope, and community spirit, all revitalizing at a time when no one can save themselves alone. As I told you in our meetings, to me you are social poets because, from the forgotten peripheries where you live, you create admirable solutions for the most pressing problems afflicting the marginalized.

I know that you nearly never receive the recognition that you deserve, because you are truly invisible to the system. Market solutions do not reach the peripheries, and State protection is hardly visible there. Nor do you have the resources to substitute for its functioning. You are looked upon with suspicion when through community organization you try to move beyond philanthropy or when, instead of resigning and hoping to catch some crumbs that fall from the table of economic power, you claim your rights. You often feel rage and powerlessness at the sight of persistent inequalities and when any excuse at all is sufficient for maintaining those privileges. Nevertheless, you do not resign yourselves to complaining: you roll up your sleeves and keep working for your families, your communities, and the common good. Your resilience helps me, challenges me, and teaches me a great deal.

This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out. It would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights.

Pope Francis

I think of all the people, especially women, who multiply loaves of bread in soup kitchens: two onions and a package of rice make up a delicious stew for hundreds of children. I think of the sick, I think of the elderly. They never appear in the news, nor do small farmers and their families who work hard to produce healthy food without destroying nature, without hoarding, without exploiting people’s needs. I want you to know that our Heavenly Father watches over you, values you, appreciates you, and supports you in your commitment.

How difficult it is to stay at home for those who live in tiny, ramshackle dwellings, or for the homeless! How difficult it is for migrants, those who are deprived of freedom, and those in rehabilitation from an addiction. You are there shoulder to shoulder with them, helping them to make things less difficult, less painful. I congratulate and thank you with all my heart.

My hope is that governments understand that technocratic paradigms (whether state-centred or market-driven) are not enough to address this crisis or the other great problems affecting humankind. Now more than ever, persons, communities and peoples must be put at the centre, united to heal, to care and to share.

I know that you have been excluded from the benefits of globalization. You do not enjoy the superficial pleasures that anesthetize so many consciences, yet you always suffer from the harm they produce. The ills that afflict everyone hit you twice as hard. Many of you live from day to day, without any type of legal guarantee to protect you. Street vendors, recyclers, carnies, small farmers, construction workers, dressmakers, the different kinds of caregivers: you who are informal, working on your own or in the grassroots economy, you have no steady income to get you through this hard time … and the lockdowns are becoming unbearable. This may be the time to consider a universal basic wage which would acknowledge and dignify the noble, essential tasks you carry out. It would ensure and concretely achieve the ideal, at once so human and so Christian, of no worker without rights.

Moreover, I urge you to reflect on “life after the pandemic,” for while this storm shall pass, its grave consequences are already being felt. You are not helpless. You have the culture, the method, and most of all, the wisdom that are kneaded with the leaven of feeling the suffering of others as your own. I want all of us to think about the project of integral human development that we long for and that is based on the central role and initiative of the people in all their diversity, as well as on universal access to those three Ts that you defend: Trabajo (work), Techo (housing), and Tierra (land and food) .

I hope that this time of danger will free us from operating on automatic pilot, shake our sleepy consciences and allow a humanist and ecological conversion that puts an end to the idolatry of money and places human life and dignity at the centre. Our civilization — so competitive, so individualistic, with its frenetic rhythms of production and consumption, its extravagant luxuries, its disproportionate profits for just a few — needs to downshift, take stock, and renew itself.

You are the indispensable builders of this change that can no longer be put off. Moreover, when you testify that to change is possible, your voice is authoritative. You have known crises and hardships … that you manage to transform — with modesty, dignity, commitment, hard work and solidarity — into a promise of life for your families and your communities.

Stand firm in your struggle and care for each other as brothers and sisters. I pray for you, I pray with you. I want to ask God our Father to bless you, to fill you with his love, and to defend you on this path, giving you the strength that keeps us standing tall and that never disappoints: hope. Please pray for me, because I need it too.

             Fraternally,

Vatican City, Easter Sunday, 12 April 2020


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