PRESS RELEASE: At Key Juncture, Powerful Coalition of More Than 60 Groups Statewide Urges Budget Amendments for Children in Deep Poverty

Call Tied to Key Point in Budget Process, Today’s State of the State Which Did Not Address Deep Child Poverty

SACRAMENTO — The End Child Poverty in California coalition, comprising members of the state Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force and dozens of advocacy organizations from across the state, today urged legislators to build on the Governor’s proposed budget so it eliminates deep child poverty and reduces overall childhood poverty by fifty percent, both by 2023. The Coalition’s Budget Letter, signed by more than 60 organizations, is below and it outlines specific investments. Governor Newsom delivered his State of the State today and this is a critical time in the budget process, when Department of Finance staff is holding key budget meetings with the Governor’s staff and legislative staff.

“In the Governor’s otherwise excellent State of the State address, he did not address child poverty, and especially the 450,000 California children in deep child poverty, who may be homeless or on the brink of homelessness. Year after year, these children are moved below other priorities. We can’t let this happen again,” said Conway Collis, Co-Chair of the state Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force and CEO of GRACE: “How can we address homelessness when we don’t put in place the programs that will stop our currently housed families in deep poverty from becoming homeless? Our state cannot succeed when close to a half-million kids suffer the short-term and

long-term effects of deep child poverty. We must implement the End Child Poverty Plan recommendations now and create generations of opportunity for these children and for California.”

California has the highest number of children and highest percentage of children living in poverty of any state in the nation — almost 2 million children, or one out of every five California kids. 450,000 children live in deep poverty — below 50 percent of the federal poverty line, or less than about $12,500 for a family of four. In addition, 204,000 California children experience homelessness. The state Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force recently issued a concrete plan to end deep child poverty in California in just four years when fully implemented. The plan is groundbreaking in its development and approach. AB1520, authored by Assemblywoman Burke and sponsored by GRACE, directed the California Department of Social Services to convene the Task Force to develop a research-and-data-driven plan to inform policy-making by the next governor and the legislature.

See background at http://www.EndChildPovertyCA.org

LA Times: https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-child-poverty-task-force-report-20181119-story.html

B-Roll Available from Contact and Sacramento Affiliates


Tuesday, February 12, 2019

The Honorable Gavin Newsom

Governor, State of California

The Honorable Toni Atkins

President pro Tempore, California State Senate

The Honorable Holly J. Mitchell

Chair, Budget Committee, California State Senate

The Honorable Anthony Rendon

Speaker, California State Assembly

The Honorable Phil Ting

Chair, Budget Committee, California State Assembly

Dear Governor Newsom and Budget Leaders of the California State Legislature:

Re: 2019 End Child Poverty CA Budget Priorities

The Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force (Task Force) recently issued its final Report and Recommendations. We are writing, as members of the Task Force and a broad coalition of supporters, to ask that you urgently and immediately take actions to end deep childhood poverty and substantially reduce overall child and family poverty in California by implementing the Task Force Recommendations.

One in five children in California live in poverty. We are the 5th largest economy in the world with the highest percentage and largest number of children living in poverty of any state in the Nation. This is a human and a fiscal crisis that we have the ability to solve. According to the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, the toxic stress of extreme poverty has a life-long negative impact on a child’s brain development. The same research indicates that the impact can be reversed by making the proven investments recommended by the Task Force that reduce or eliminate the need for more costly remediation in the future.

The Task Force’s End Child Poverty Plan is comprehensive, research-based and community-informed. When fully implemented, the Task Force recommendations will end deep poverty for the 450,000 children in California living under 50% of the federal poverty line within four years and substantially reduce California’s highest in the Nation level of overall child and family poverty. As children’s advocates, non-profit, religious, and business organizations, we urge that the comprehensive child and family poverty plan be acted on immediately.

Reducing child and family poverty by 50% will also have a net positive impact on state and local government budgets of an estimated minimum of $12 billion annually in reduced remedial health, social service and educational expenditures and increased tax revenues. The Governor’s proposed budget is an excellent starting point to begin reducing childhood poverty, especially for children living in deep poverty.

The California Legislature can take the important step to eliminate deep poverty among families with children in the short term and to reduce overall childhood poverty by fifty percent by 2023 by adopting the Task Force’s science-based budget proposals. They include:

Primary Investments

– Increase grants in the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program to bring families up above deep poverty as proposed in the Budget Act of 2018.

– Increase and expand access to the Earned Income Tax Credit.

– Adopt a Targeted Child Tax Credit (TCTC) that would put money back in the pocket of families and put it to work in the economy. This proposal also serves to provide a rental subsidy for families living in deep poverty or experiencing homelessness. Research conducted by the Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality shows that cash or near cash subsidies have a long-term positive impact on reducing childhood poverty and increasing the overall economic health of a community. The TCTC alone, when fully implemented will eliminate deep child poverty within four years.

Foundational Investments

– Guarantee access to early care and education for children 0–8 years of age who are living in poverty in order to support child early development and families’ employment, education, health and upward mobility.

– Expand voluntary home visiting programs to support pregnant women and families with young children.

– Add 20 state-funded Promise Neighborhoods offering coordinated, community- driven support services.

– Secure Healthcare for All Californians.

– Fully fund transitional housing programs and supports for foster care youth up to the age of 21.

We urge these investments for the children of California today, to support the California Dream for each of our children. If you have any questions, please contact Jackie Thu-Huong Wong at jwong@grace-inc.org or 916-498-3320.



Children Now

Children’s Defense Fund

County Welfare Directors Association of California

First 5 CA

First 5 Los Angeles

Fresno EOC Street Saints

Home Start, Inc.

Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce

St. John’s Well Child and Family Center

Western Center on Law and Poverty

Youth Policy Institute

Actors Gang (The)

Alameda County Community Food Bank

Alliance for Children’s Rights

American Academy of Pediatrics

Barrio Logan College Institute

California Alternative Payment Program Association (CAPPA)

California Association of Food Banks

California Catholic Conference

California Emerging Technology Fund

California Interfaith Coalition


Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County

Child Care Law Center

Child Care Resource Center

Children’s Advocacy Institute

Children’s Institute

Children’s Network of Solano County

Clinica Romero

Council on American-Islamic Relations

Cradle to Career Fresno County

First 5 Alameda

First 5 Association of CA

Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano County

Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission

Friends Committee on Legislation of California

Good Samaritan

Jamestown Community Center (The)

Jewish Center for Justice

John Burton Advocates for Youth

JPAC – Jewish Public Affairs Committee of California

Lutheran Office of Public Policy- CA

Marin Promise Neighborhoods


Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA)

Mission Graduates

National Association of Social Workers

National Center for Youth Law

National Council for Jewish Women

National Foster Youth Institute

Parent Voices

Pathways LA

Policy Link

Rise Together Bay Area

SALEF (Salvadorian American Leadership and Educational Fund)

Shields for Families

South Bay Community Services

United Way Bay Area

United Way California

United Way of Greater Los Angeles


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