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Interested in Baby Bonds? ECPCA Has You Covered

Update: July 20, 2022

GRACE Celebrates Groundbreaking $115 Million Investment in HOPE Accounts for Children Orphaned by COVID-19 and Foster Youth!

Governor Gavin Newsom approved the state’s 2022-2023 budget with vital investments secured for over 32,000 children orphaned by COVID and children who are in long-term foster care.

GRACE & End Child Poverty California (ECPCA), John Burton Advocates for Youth (JBAY), End Poverty in California (EPIC), and Liberation in a Generation worked diligently alongside partners and California leaders for the inclusion of HOPE Trust Fund Accounts in the final budget. The Hope, Opportunity, Perseverance, and Empowerment (HOPE) for Children Act – championed by Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – will lay the foundation for future expansion of child trust accounts, or baby bonds, as a tool to support wealth building and economic opportunity for California children living in poverty. Approximately 1 in 5 children live in poverty in our state. 

HOPE Accounts will support children from low-income families who lost a primary caregiver to COVID-19, as well as children who are in long-term foster care. HOPE funds will be available when a child turns 18. They will allow children to invest in their education, start a business, or support purchasing transportation or housing. Access to wealth-building tools is critical to shrink the state’s persistent racial wealth gap. The budget agreement provides $100 million in one-time funding and $15 million in ongoing funding for the HOPE Account program.

“HOPE Accounts will provide a level of financial protection—of wealth—that allows children in foster care and children orphaned by COVID the ability to seed their futures with dreams instead of worries. HOPE Accounts give young people the power, agency, and dignity to build wealth now and into the future.

Shimica Gaskins, President and CEO at GRACE & End Child Poverty CA

Cody Van Felden, a foster youth advocate at John Burton Advocates for Youth said, “The guarantee of baby bonds means so much to me. I have done so much advocating for this because, as a first step, baby bonds will begin to eradicate generational poverty. I did not get a running start in getting out of poverty; therefore, I must work twice as hard to ensure my daughter does not stay stuck in poverty. Baby bonds will give others like me that running start to take control of their life.”

California has the highest child poverty rate in the country, with stark economic disparities that track along racial lines. Baby bonds work to close the racial wealth gap and end cycles of intergenerational poverty by providing guaranteed capital that recipients can use to build wealth and establish financial security. Providing access to this seed fund of capital directly combats the effects of racist and classist policy choices that created the racial wealth gap in the first place. Baby bonds are an increasingly prominent policy tool for combating the lasting effects of that history and charting a better path forward. In 2021, the state of Connecticut, and Washington, D.C. each enacted similar programs. Additionally, federal proposals have been introduced by Senator Cory Booker and Representative Ayanna Pressley.



Introduction to Baby Bonds & CA’s Hope Accounts

May 19, 2022

One of End Child Poverty California’s key legislative requests during 2022–and a topic that the GRACE team is championing–is the HOPE for Children Act. This request regards the establishment of Hope Accounts for California youth that are experiencing economic insecurity due to the pandemic and also those that have been involved with the child welfare system.

What will Hope Accounts Do? This proposal will create California’s first “baby bond program,” or trust fund accounts for foster youth in long term care and children orphaned by COVID-19.

Unlike their peers, these children–and other low-income California youth–do not have the cushion of parent or family wealth to rely on when they become adults. This makes it even harder for our young adults to finance an education, buy a house, start a business, and make other moves that would allow them to move out of poverty and into long-term financial stability for themselves AND their families.

A Quick Vocabulary Lesson. Wealth is what a person owns: a person’s net worth, or total assets minus liabilities. This includes items like cash, homes and real estate, cars, jewelry, etc. Income is what a person earns over a certain period, like a salary, sales profits, etc. These two are not the same. Income can generate wealth, but takes time to do so. Having a high paying job doesn’t automatically mean someone is wealthy.

Why Are HOPE Accounts Important? HOPE Accounts are a pathway toward ensuring low-income children in California will have the opportunity to realize their dreams. We are urging the Legislature to create these accounts ASAP for 32,500 children orphaned by COVID and foster youth.

Current Status: This budget proposal is championed by Senator Skinner (D-Berkeley) and is a budget priority for the Senate. Sign on here to tell our policymakers that we need HOPE Accounts NOW.

Read our one-pager and policy brief, included below, for more information on both the Hope for Children Act and baby bonds.


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

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

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

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

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

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Daughters of Charity Offer Prayer for Those Seeking Peace & Safety

Image: A day after the mass killing of children in Uvalde, and 11 days after the racist killing of 10 Black grocery shoppers in Buffalo, the George Floyd memorial offers a place for collective grief in Minneapolis, two years after his killing

At GRACE and End Child Poverty CA we are mothers, siblings, daughters. We’re hurting. We reached out to our founders, the Daughters of Charity, for a healing prayer. Thoughts and prayers are nothing without action. We’re committed to continued action for justice so that all our children are safe, nourished, valued, healthy, and free.

God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all people
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred,
and who justify killing.

God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude
of the tragedies wrought by violence,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.

We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to the many children and adults
whose lives have been senselessly taken.

Heal, too, the pain of grieving families
and all who have lost loved ones to gun violence
and all violence motivated by racial or religious hatred.
Give them strength to continue their lives
with courage and hope.

Comfort and console us, strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.

            Adapted from a prayer of Pope Francis


We’re hiring!

The GRACE and End Child Poverty California team is hiring a Director of Public Policy to support our advocacy and education efforts in Sacramento and across California. The job description and information on how to apply are found below as well as on Indeed and on Idealist.

We’re looking for a combination of the following:

  • Passionate about our children, families, and communities and committed to working thoughtfully and with an intersectional lens on social justice issues
  • Comfortable working within a small team as well as with consultants, government officials and agencies, and coalition partners; the latter a diverse mix of advocates and nonprofits, direct service providers, community and grassroots organizations, among others
  • A balanced outlook on the demands of work and life, understanding people come first and willing and able to promote a fun, respectful, and healthy work environment
  • Curious, reflective, and committed to learning–a proponent of the phrase “I don’t know”
  • Dedicated to centering and uplifting the voices, stories, and expertise of people with lived experiences of poverty

If this sounds like the job for you, we look forward to receiving your application! If not for you, please share with someone you think might be a fit–or widely across your networks.

We encourage applications from those in historically excluded or minoritized groups. If you read through the qualifications and don’t meet 100% of them, don’t let that be a barrier–apply anyway!


RELEASE: Senate Budget Plan Targets Equitable and Innovative Investments to Put California’s Wealth to Work

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 28, 2022

Contacts: Linda Swank, lindaswank@grace-inc.org, 626-356-4206

The alignment of the Senate’s budget priorities and End Child Poverty’s $10 Billion to Fight Poverty package signals an exciting opportunity this legislative cycle for joint advocacy and collaboration between legislative leaders and anti-poverty advocates

The California Senate outlined equity & prosperity as their key values today. They put forth an innovative plan to make California’s wealth work for a more equitable economy. The Senate’s budget is in response to Gov. Newsom’s proposed state budget.

We applaud the Senate for prioritizing children and families. The 178 End Child Poverty CA Coalition members worked together on a groundbreaking anti-poverty plan this year. Our $10 Billion to Fight Poverty plan is within reach. The Senate’s new budget shows us the way. The Senate plan includes targeted and equitable investments to serve people most impacted by the economic repercussions of the pandemic and rising inflation costs. 

“The Senate’s proposed budget puts California’s wealth to work today, tomorrow, and into the future. Our leaders are embracing innovative approaches such as baby bonds. They’re keeping their promises to ensure no child lives in deep poverty. They’re providing targeted tax relief so we equitably build back better in our state,” said Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO of Grace and End Child Poverty CA. 

We are especially thrilled to see the Senate include HOPE Accounts in the budget. HOPE Accounts are investment accounts to be created for children in poverty who had a primary caregiver die due to COVID-19, eligible foster youth, and more. With this inclusion, our leaders are planting the seeds to ensure California’s children have equitable opportunities in the future, taking the much needed first steps to combat the racial wealth gap and the opportunity gap that all poor children face. Similarly, we applaud and stand with the Senate’s plan to prevent the interception of tax credits intended to help Californians in poverty.

The alignment of the Senate’s budget priorities and End Child Poverty’s $10 Billion to Fight Poverty package signals an exciting opportunity this legislative cycle for joint advocacy and collaboration between legislative leaders and anti-poverty advocates to create long-term, transformative change for low-income families and communities of color. We are eager to work together to ensure that the deployment of the state’s surplus addresses the needs of families and children first and foremost.   

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The End Child Poverty in California campaign is a growing coalition of 178 anti-poverty organizations, allies, and advocates fighting for the resources and strategies to ensure ALL children can be healthy, housed and fed. Our coalition efforts have led to over $13 billion investments to support children and have successfully fought to double the size of the California Earned Income Tax Credit and the Young Child Tax Credit, expand health care, create new subsidized child care slots, and more.

Read more about the End Child Poverty Coalition’s $10 Billion Package to Fight Poverty

Continue reading below for the End Child Poverty Coalition’s summary of the Senate’s Budget package and how it reflects our $10 Billion Package to Fight Poverty. The summary is also available here.

Continue reading…

IMAGINE: $10 Billion to Fight Poverty

The 170+ End Child Poverty CA Coalition members are united in 2022! Together we’re supporting $10 Billion to Fight Poverty. Our plan is ambitious and absolutely achievable. In a state as rich and abundant as California, every child should be valued and free. Info and tools below.

$10 Billion to Fight Poverty

(Click to retweet)

We are Nourished

  • Click to retweet
  • Fund HOPE accounts to seed kids’ futures. (SB 854 – Skinner, TOOLKIT)
  • Fund Golden State Stimulus 3 so those left out of COVID relief have cash to count on.
  • Fund the Young Child Tax Credit to end poverty for 1.7 million children. (AB 2589 – Santiago)

We are Respected

  • Click to retweet
  • Fund dignified wages for child care providers.
  • Get rid of racist child care family fees (AB 92 – Reyes)
  • Fund enough child care slots for our kids

We are Healthy

  • Click to retweet
  • Fund and create more community networks. We need community-led pandemic recovery, and cradle to career networks empower families through a child’s whole life. (AB 2517 – Bonta, TOOLKIT)

We are Secure

  • Click to retweet
  • Fund wage-replacement for undocumented workers. Immigrants are our essential workers and it’s time to give back. (AB 2847 – Garcia)

We are Valued

  • Make CalWorks fair. Use parent input to fix old rules that hurt families.
  • Ensure ALL child support money goes to families. Child support is for kids, not the state.

Email Evelyn@NectarCollaborative.com to get a background that also includes your organization’s logo.


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It Takes A Village Day Of Action Brings Together Community!

On Friday March 25, the California Cradle to Career Coalition was in Oakland! With our momentum, we are going to pass the It Takes A Village Act (AB 2517, Bonta)! Our bold bill author Assemblymember Mia Bonta gathered Oakland leaders. We turned out community-based organizations, community leaders, families, and promotoras (community outreach workers). The goal: get the community-led recovery the money it needs! Fund Promise Neighborhoods! Fund Cradle to Career Networks! Let our communities lead the way. We can pass the It Takes A Village Act, Assembly Bill 2517!

During the event, the energy was contagious. There wasn’t a frown to be found. The love for our families and communities poured with dedication, laughter, warm hugs of embrace and gratification.

The work that has been done, and the continued work these organizations and community relationships are still doing was coloring the entire space!

 “It Takes A Village” Day of Action just goes to show we aren’t slowing down, we’re just getting started, TOGETHER!

Collaboration and change were brought to the event! 

You can read more about what is being said about the event here!

Note: Assembly Bill 2517, championed by Assemblymember Mia Bonta, will establish a grant program to provide funding to organizations that provide services to children and families from before birth through college and career.


VIDEO: Tax Season Selena-Style Music Video by ECPCA + Mission Promise

End Child Poverty CA has made it our mission to get REAL about taxes this year. Taxes can be overwhelming & scary. But they don’t have to be. There are tons of free resources. Tax credits can get you thousands of dollars back. There are even options for people without social security numbers to file and get money back. Resources below.

Watch our “La Carcacha” tax season music video on Instagram, Twitter, or Tik Tok.

If you miss the deadline of April 18, 2022, it’s okay.

If you don’t owe money in taxes, you can file through October 15, 2022. There’s no penalty. And you can still get your tax credits money.

If you do owe money or think you will owe money, file for a free extension that will give you until October 2022. If you don’t file an extension, you can still file and pay a penalty, but still get your tax credits money.

Tax season is complicated, stressful and overwhelming, but with the help of familiar faces and spaces where the people care about you, it can be easy!

Click here to view on Instagram and TikTok.

Let’s face it, we’ve all gone to those agencies, who really want you in and out and just sign here.

There are agencies who want to educate the community  so we can all rise above the anxieties around taxes! Let’s learn together and share where we have found those amazon agencies this tax year or prior!

Need help with your taxes?


Simple Community Tax Outreach Tools

Download these easy-to-read tax credit outreach tools! We made them for promotoras and community outreach workers. These simple decision trees can help families get over the very real fear and anxiety of filing taxes. Find English, Spanish, and Chinese below. This project is a collaboration with Parent Voices CA.

Let’s get our communities the money they earned and deserve!

Tax Credit Community Outreach Tool – ENGLISH

Tax Credit Community Outreach Tool – SPANISH

Tax Credit Community Outreach Tool – CHINESE


RELEASE: Assembly member Mia Bonta Launched “It Takes a Village Act” with GRACE, End Child Poverty California, and the Cradle to Career Coalition

ALL OF US TOGETHER: Read on about how Assembly member Mia Bonta (D-Oakland), along with cosponsors GRACE, End Child Poverty California, and the Cradle to Career Coalition, are empowering community-based networks with the funding they need to join forces in the fight against poverty.

She says, “I am proud to coauthor the ‘It Takes a Village Act’. I have seen firsthand the benefits of this evidenced based approach to support coordinated community services.”

This beginning of the new year was launched the It Takes a Village Act bill and budget proposal earlier today. It Takes a Village would implement a place-based approach that centers on the needs of children and families in communities across California and ensure access to a quality continuum of wraparound services from cradle-to-career.

#ItTakesAVillageToRaiseAChild

Click to read more on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Scroll down to read further or read here:

Assembly member Mia Bonta Launched “It Takes a Village Act” with GRACE, End Child Poverty California, and the Cradle to Career Coalition

Assembly member Mia Bonta (D-Oakland), along with cosponsors GRACE, End Child Poverty California, and the Cradle to Career Coalition, virtually launched the It Takes a Village Act bill and budget proposal earlier today.

It Takes a Village would implement a place-based approach that centers on the needs of children and families in communities across California, and ensure access to a quality continuum of wraparound services from cradle-to-career. The legislation will be introduced later this week.
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted that communities with coordinated, place-based initiatives and service delivery are more resilient. Whether the next challenge California faces is due to climate change, a new infectious disease or economic recession, this proposal will make evidence-based investments in communities up and down the state. In light of another historic surplus, California must rebuild with coordinated neighborhood and regional services that can usher in a more vibrant and equitable future for all Californians,” said Assistant Speaker pro Tempore Bonta.

Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Gómez Reyes (D-San Bernardino) added, “Neighborhood-based programs, like the Community Action Partnership and Growing Inland Achievement in my district, have a demonstrated track record of helping children and families thrive. Combined with other programs, like Promise Neighborhoods and our Cradle 2 Career systems, they have the power to create real change for California families. But all too often, these networks lack the funding they need to coordinate their services for the greatest level of impact. This is why I am proud to be Principal Coauthor to Assemblymember Bonta’s ‘It Takes a Village Act,’ a bill that will strengthen our communities by creating partnerships and increasing communication across California’s regional networks. By establishing this grant program, Assemblymember

Bonta is empowering community-based networks with the funding they need to join forces in the fight against poverty.”

“I am proud to coauthor the ‘It Takes a Village Act’. I have seen firsthand the benefits of this evidenced based approach to support coordinated community services. Hayward Promise Neighborhood features a family education program for preschool to college, student success coaches in partnership with CSU East Bay, and healthy food access through the Alameda County Community Food Bank,” said Assembly member Bill Quirk (D-Hayward).

Shimica Gaskins, spokesperson for the CA Cradle to Career Coalition, said, “Promise Neighborhoods and Cradle to Career regional networks provide data-driven solutions to ensure that children and families receive the resources that they need. Both programs braid cross-sector resources, leverage community partnerships, and work towards systemic change by tackling the racial and economic inequities in our communities. We are proud that Assemblymember Mia Bonta is sponsoring the It Takes A Village Act to support and expand these critical programs.”

#ItTakesAVillageToRaiseAChild


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