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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


LETTER: End Child Poverty CA Movement Urges Federal Stimulus to Include 22 “Priorities to Strengthen Families”

April 9, 2020

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi Speaker of the House
United States House of Representatives
U.S. Capital
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
United States Senate
331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
Minority Leader
United States House of Representatives
U.S. Capital
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Kamala Harris
112 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Press release: click here.

Dear Speaker Pelosi, Minority Leader McCarthy and Senators Feinstein and Harris:

We write with deep gratitude for your commitment and leadership as our nation struggles with the impact of COVID-19. We are especially grateful for your work to pass the CARES Act, which will have a profoundly positive impact on children and families in need and the national economy. As you and your colleagues develop further emergency relief and recovery legislation, we urge you to include the Priorities to Strengthen Families contained in the attached document. We write on behalf of the 66 organizations listed on this letter.

Our coalition was originally formed to address child and family poverty in California and today comprises 118 diverse organizations, more than 60 organizational partners and 60,000 individual Californians.

The attached Priorities to Strengthen Families were developed from our years of work, the experiences of our partners, and the expertise of some of the nation’s preeminent researchers on poverty. Taken together, these Priorities provide a foundation to help low income children and families recover from the pandemic and contribute to the nation’s overall economic recovery.

Each recommendation is based on a program or service that has been proven to be successful and cost effective — rigorous data and other analysis has been applied. The recommendations address the need to
provide housing and food stability for vulnerable children; necessary healthcare to protect all Americans; child-care for our essential workers; essential support for our nation’s foster youth; and basic education, workforce and housing support.

We look forward to answering any questions or providing any additional information that may be helpful. Please contact Conway Collis or Jackie Wong.

Sincerely,

Dolores Huerta
President
Dolores Huerta Foundation

Conway Collis
President and CEO
GRACE/End Child Poverty CA

Organizations signing the letter:

To add your organization (click here). Although the original letter has been sent, we look forward to adding additional names and organizations online. New names are in italics.

Alameda County Community Food Bank
Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles
Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative
Burrito Bunch
CA Association for the Education of Young Children (CAAEYC) Public Policy Committee
California Alliance of Child and Family Services
California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA)
California Asset Building Coalition
California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAAEYC)
California Association of Food Banks
California Coalition for Youth
California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
California Partnership
CAPPA Children’s Foundation
CAP OC/OC Food Bank
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles
Child Care Law Center
Child Care Resource and Referral Center CA
Child Care Resource Center
Children Now
Children’s Council of San Francisco
Children’s Defense Fund – CA
Children’s Institute
Children’s Resource & Referral
Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice
Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County
Compass Family Services
County Welfare Directors Association of CA
Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul USA
Dolores Huerta Foundation
Economic Security Project Action
Equal Rights Advocates
Fathers & Families of San Joaquin
First 5 Alameda County
First 5 California
First 5 LA
Foster Care Counts
Fresno Barrios Unidos
Fresno EOC
Fresno EOC Street Saints
Friends Committee on Legislation of California
Futures Without Violence
Gardner Health Services
GRACE Institute/End Child Poverty California
Hayward Promise Neighborhoods
Head Start California
Healing Dialogue and Action
Hunger Action LA
Independent in Orange County
Jewish Center for Justice
Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
John Burton Advocates for Youth
LA Conservation Corps
Latino Business Foundation Silicon Valley
Legal Aid at Work
Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN)
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
LULAC California
Lutheran Office of Public Policy California
Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center
Maryvale
Mid City CAN (Community Advocacy Network)
Mission Economic Development Agency
National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter
National Foster Youth Institute
North Bay Jobs with Justice
Para Los Niños
Parent Voices CA
Restaurant Opportunities Center The Bay
Rise Together
San Diego for Every Child
San Francisco Latino Democratic Club
Save the Children
SHIELDS for Families
South Bay Community Services
Southern California Grantmakers
St. John’s Well Child & Family Center
Stable, Secure and Strong
The Central Valley Urban Institute
The Chicano Federation
The Children’s Movement of Fresno
The Children’s Partnership
The Salvador E. Alvarez Institute for Non-Violence
Time for Change Foundation
Unite LA
United Ways of California
Urban Strategies Council
Western Center on Law and Poverty
YMCA of San Diego County
Youth Justice Coalition L.A.
Youth United for Community Action
Youth Will

RELEASE: END CHILD POVERTY CA MOVEMENT URGES FEDERAL STIMULUS LEGISLATION TO INCLUDE 22 ‘PRIORITIES TO STRENGTHEN FAMILIES’

APRIL 10, 2020  — In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Sen. Kamala Harris and the California Congressional delegation, End Child Poverty CA’s co-chairs Dolores Huerta and Conway Collis, on behalf of a coalition of 66 organizations, urged the inclusion of 22 “Priorities to Strengthen Families” in future federal stimulus legislation.

The priorities target those in poverty and those left out of or ineligible for the CARES Act. The Priorities also suggest practical changes –for example, waiving work or minimum income requirements at a time when the economy is shedding jobs at record level.

“The attached Priorities to Strengthen Families were developed from our years of work, the experiences of our partners, and the expertise of some of the nation’s preeminent researchers on poverty. Taken together, these Priorities provide a foundation to help low income people recover from the pandemic and contribute to the nation’s overall economic recovery,” the letter states. “Each recommendation is based on a program or service that has been proven to be successful and cost-effective — rigorous data and other analysis has been applied.  The 22 recommendations address the need to provide housing and food stability for vulnerable children; necessary healthcare to protect all Americans; child-care for our essential workers; essential support for our nation’s foster youth; and basic education, workforce and housing support.”

See full letter, followed by the 22 Priorities to Strengthen Families, here.

Organizations signing the letter:

To add your organization (click here). Although the original letter has been sent, we look forward to adding additional names and organizations online.

Alameda County Community Food Bank
Alliance for Boys and Men of Color
Anthony and Jeanne Pritzker Family Foundation
Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles
Bay Area Regional Health Inequities Initiative
Burrito Bunch
CA Association for the Education of Young Children (CAAEYC) Public Policy Committee
California Alliance of Child and Family Services
California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA)
California Asset Building Coalition
California Association for the Education of Young Children (CAAEYC)
California Association of Food Banks
California Coalition for Youth
California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
California Partnership
CAPPA Children’s Foundation
CAP OC/OC Food Bank
Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County
Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles
Child Care Law Center
Child Care Resource and Referral Center CA
Child Care Resource Center
Children Now
Children’s Council of San Francisco
Children’s Defense Fund – CA
Children’s Institute
Children’s Resource & Referral
Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice
Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County
Compass Family Services
County Welfare Directors Association of CA
Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent De Paul USA
Dolores Huerta Foundation
Economic Security Project Action
Equal Rights Advocates
Fathers & Families of San Joaquin
First 5 Alameda County
First 5 California
First 5 LA
Foster Care Counts
Fresno Barrios Unidos
Fresno EOC
Fresno EOC Street Saints
Friends Committee on Legislation of California
Futures Without Violence
Gardner Health Services
GRACE Institute/End Child Poverty California
Hayward Promise Neighborhoods
Head Start California
Healing Dialogue and Action
Hunger Action LA
Independent in Orange County
Jewish Center for Justice
Jewish Family and Children’s Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
John Burton Advocates for Youth
LA Conservation Corps
Latino Business Foundation Silicon Valley
Legal Aid at Work
Los Angeles Community Action Network (LA CAN)
Los Angeles Regional Food Bank
LULAC California
Lutheran Office of Public Policy California
Martin Luther King Jr. Freedom Center
Maryvale
Mid City CAN (Community Advocacy Network)
Mission Economic Development Agency
National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter
National Foster Youth Institute
North Bay Jobs with Justice
Para Los Niños
Parent Voices CA
Restaurant Opportunities Center The Bay
Rise Together
San Diego for Every Child
San Francisco Latino Democratic Club
Save the Children
SHIELDS for Families
South Bay Community Services
Southern California Grantmakers
St. John’s Well Child & Family Center
Stable, Secure and Strong
The Central Valley Urban Institute
The Chicano Federation
The Children’s Movement of Fresno
The Children’s Partnership
The Salvador E. Alvarez Institute for Non-Violence
Time for Change Foundation
Unite LA
United Ways of California
Urban Strategies Council
Western Center on Law and Poverty
YMCA of San Diego County
Youth Justice Coalition L.A.
Youth United for Community Action
Youth Will

Previously, End Child Poverty CA developed recommendations to shape state stimulus legislation. See the letter to Governor Newsom here.

ABOUT END CHILD POVERTY CA

On both a percentage and numerical basis, California’s child poverty crisis ranks as the worst in America. Almost 2 million California children live in poverty, with 400,000 of them in deep poverty –below 50 percent of the state poverty line and growing up in families working hard to survive on less than about $13,400 annually. State legislation created the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force (Co-Chaired by Collis) to develop an anti-poverty plan to be released just before the new governor and legislature took office in January 2019. The End Child Poverty CA campaign then rallied people and organizations and as a movement urged the state to adopt the Task Force’s End Child Poverty Plan, which would end deep child poverty in just four years when fully implemented. The plan would also reduce overall child poverty by 50 percent over the next decade.
 For more information, visit: https://www.endchildpovertyca.org/


JOIN US: End Child Poverty CA Action Call w/ Rep. Karen Bass & Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta, 3-26-20

Join Congressmember Karen Bass, Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta, GRACE/ECPCA CEO Conway Collis and movement partners this Thursday, 3-26-20, from 9:30-10:30am, for an End Child Poverty California Movement Action Call as we address the COVID-19 crisis together. [MEETING LINK & CALL-IN INFO BELOW] 

What started as a health crisis, COVID-19 is quickly turning into an economic catastrophe for vulnerable Californians.

We’re mobilizing support for the Anti-poverty Stimulus Package, sharing resources and addressing the COVID-19 crisis together. Congressmember Bass will update us on the Federal response (unless the House is called into session and she needs to vote at the time of the call). 

The Action Call is open to motivated Californians across the state and End Child Poverty CA Movement partners and collaborators. Join us and share the link: https://www.endchildpovertyca.org/action-call-2/.

Congressmember Karen Bass speaks in front of a podium that says "End Child Poverty in California" at an End Child Poverty rally, April 2017. Photo credit: Valerie Goodloe
Congressmember Karen Bass speaks at an End Child Poverty rally, April 2017. Photo credit: Valerie Goodloe

Call-in & Video Conferencing Information

This is a Zoom Video Conference with Phone-In Option
Time: Mar 26, 2020 09:30 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/478095623

Meeting ID: 478 095 623

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Meeting ID: 478 095 623
Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/adJY3QoPFj

Find Out More

→ End Child Poverty California COVID-19 Action Page

→ COVID-19 Anti-poverty Stimulus Package

→ End Child Poverty CA Press Release

→ End Child Poverty CA Letter to the Governor from CEO Conway Collis and Dolores Huerta, President of the Dolores Huerta Foundation

→ End Child Poverty California Movement Resources List (Dynamic & Editable)

Photo Credit: Fernando Rios


End Child Poverty CA COVID-19 Anti-Poverty Stimulus Package: Cash to Vulnerable Californians

END CHILD POVERTY CA COVID-19 ANTI-POVERTY STIMULUS PACKAGE

The following one -time payments respond to the current COVID-19 crisis for California’s most vulnerable children and families. They also provide an immediate economic stimulus as research shows that 80% of cash supports are spent locally.

Prior to the pandemic, California families were already faced with health, hunger, and housing instability. COVID-19 has exacerbated this crisis. We need to provide immediate cash assistance for vulnerable families NOW to allow parents and caregivers to stay home with their children, purchase necessities, and keep their families housed as California addresses this health and economic crisis.

Proposal # 1 Child Poverty Emergency Safety Net Payment

Families living in deep poverty will be hardest hit by the COVID-19 economic downturn. This safety net payment will help increase stability during this health crisis. A one-time cash payment of up to $1,200 would be paid through the counties via the general assistance program to families with at least one child ages 6 or under and with income and earnings at 70% of the Federal Poverty Line, irrespective of immigration status.

Cost estimate: One-time GF cost of $150 million. Counties would also incur administrative costs, which would be reimbursable from the state.

Proposal #2: Supplemental Emergency CalEITC Payments

The Cal EITC is well positioned to provide cash to lower-wage workers. We propose that all taxpayers eligible for 2019 expanded California EITC would be eligible immediately for a second credit equal to one-half the size of the credit they were eligible for in 2019. In addition, ITIN filers should be included in this payment.

Cost estimate: One-time GF cost of approximately $550 million.

Proposal #3: Emergency Assistance Payments.

One-time emergency assistance from the state to the counties to provide a necessary supplement for the General Assistance program. The funds would be distributed by the counties to households with children having incomes of less than 70 percent of the federal poverty line who are not otherwise eligible for assistance through the first two proposals. This includes families with a recent job loss, were unable to work in the prior year or have major health expenditures. The funds would be available on a one-time basis for emergency needs such as food, prescription drugs, rents needed to avoid eviction, or car repair.

Cost Estimate: Variable, but recommended GF allocation of $300 million.
Need for Immediate Implementation Through Recommended Payment Mechanisms

Given the urgency of the moment, the priority is to quickly and efficiently get cash in the hands of low-income families with children who are in dire need of immediate resources to protect them from the drastic COVID-19 economic downturn. Existing safety net programs such as CalWORKs and Cal EITC are designed to promote self-sufficiency and upward mobility over the long-term, but there are barriers to quickly modifying these programs to provide short term emergency relief.

Many Californian’s experiencing deep poverty are not able to participate in existing safety net programs for various reasons, including citizenship status (which limits eligibility for public programs) and disabilities of parents or children. According to estimates prepared by Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality, approximately 80 percent of children in families living in deep poverty do not participate in CalWORKs. Moreover, the emphasis on job training and employment is less relevant in today’s extraordinary circumstance, since near term job prospects are extremely limited.


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