RELEASE: #EndChildPovertyCA Call for Emergency Aid for State’s Most Vulnerable



***Letter Delivered to Gov/Leg from Co-Chairs Dolores Huerta & Conway Collis**

SACRAMENTO — In a letter to Governor Newsom and state legislative leaders, End Child Poverty CA today called the enactment of the following emergency measures for six months of immediate assistance:

1) Child Poverty Emergency Safety Net Payment

A one-time cash payment of up to $1,200  paid through the counties via the general  assistance program to families with at least one child age 6 or under and with income  and earnings at 70% of the Federal Poverty Line, irrespective of immigration status. 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.

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. 

3) Emergency Assistance Payments

A one-time emergency assistance payment 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. 

“Children and families in poverty were struggling with housing and food insecurity prior to the  Covid-19 pandemic. With it has come increased job losses or reduced hours, additional health issues and even more trauma and insecurity,” End Child Poverty CA Co-Chairs Dolores Huerta and Conway Collis wrote in today’s letter. “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 Californians 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.”

The full letter, which includes additional details about the emergency members, is here.


On both both a percentage and numerical basis, California’schild 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/