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RELEASE: Governor and Legislature Must Adopt Final California Budget that Prevents Harm To Children and Families


May 10, 2024, Pasadena, Calif.

Just two years ago, child poverty was at historic lows through a combination of landmark state and federal actions during the pandemic. Now we see the dramatic, preventable, rise in overall child poverty. With this uptick, we also see deep racial disparities. 

Based on our current analysis of today’s May Revision CA Budget summary, we commend the continued progress on previous anti-poverty investments, and the prevented cuts. At the start of his administration, the Governor made ending child poverty his North Star. Actions by the Administration and Legislature over the past several years have proven those values. 

Positive news in the Governor’s May Revise:

Proposed Eliminations Include at Least:

  • CalWORKs:
    • $47.1M ongoing cut to the Home Visiting Program (45%).
    • $126.6M permanent elimination of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services funding.
    • $272M one-time cut to the Single Allocation.
    • Including January proposed $1.2 billion double-cut to CalWORKs and the Safety Net Reserve, this is at least some $1.75 billion in cuts to CalWORKs
  • $94.7M eliminating the In-Home Supportive Services undocumented expansion for all ages.

Proposed Delays Include at Least:

  • Implementation of Food for All for elderly undocumented seniors under the California Food Assistance Program is now scheduled to begin automation in 2026-27, with benefits set to start in 2027-28. This marks a 2-year delay from its original October 2025 date.
  • Indefinitely halts and conditions on future revenues the promised expansion of over 200,000 child care slots, limiting the expansion to 119,000 slots.

2022 Trigger Investments not in the May Revise Include:

  • Continuous Medi-Cal Coverage for Children Aged 0 through 4.
  • Child Support Pass-Through to Currently Assisted CalWORKs Families.

It’s our job to understand what the numbers on the ledger mean. For families facing poverty, these programs are a lifeline. Often they are all that stand between homelessness, family separation, deportation, and irreparable harm to our children from toxic deep poverty.  

“This may not be the year to create new programs and close loopholes in our safety net, which is disappointing given the high levels of child poverty across California,” said GRACE & End Child Poverty CA CEO Shimica Gaskins.

However, we cannot repeat the failed austerity cuts of the Great Recession. Those cuts proved that if safety net cuts are made, it will be years – if not a decade – to regain ground. We fought hard to get where we are today in 2024. We cannot go back. 

In addition, we support ongoing commitments made to our workforce, and underscore that increases to minimum wages are among the best tools for families to exit poverty, and will protect some communities from some cuts proposed in this budget.

We also stand with the Governor, legislative leaders, mayors, county boards of supervisors and over 550 organizations in opposing the draconian California Business Round Table (CBRT) Taxpayer Deception Act Ballot Proposal. If enacted, it will immediately and permanently worsen this problem while pushing many solutions out of reach.


RELEASE: Chairs Thompson and Stabenow introduce Farm Bill Frameworks

[PASADENA, CALIF., UNITED STATES, May 2, 2024] CAFB and GRACE/End Child Poverty Urge California Members to reject cuts and Instead Strengthen SNAP

This week, House and Senate Agriculture Committee Chairs Rep. Thompson and Sen. Stabenow released starkly different frameworks outlining their vision for the next Farm Bill. While Sen. Stabenow’s plan lays out a promising plan to protect and strengthen our country’s most important anti-hunger program — SNAP, or CalFresh in California – Rep. Thompson’s plan proposes deep, shortsighted, and harmful cuts to SNAP that will worsen hunger for the more than 5 million Californians who rely on the program today

Specifically, Chair Thompson’s proposal includes forcing cost neutral reevaluations which will prevent the USDA from being able to make much needed periodic updates to the Thrifty Food Plan (TFP), which is the basis for SNAP and other nutrition programs like The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and Summer EBT. In no uncertain terms, this would cut SNAP by about $30 billion over the next decade by restricting future updates to only count for inflation, ignoring science-based changes to dietary guidelines.

Hungry Californians would be harmed the most: Approximately $3.6 billion, or 12% of the $30 billion cut to SNAP would be taken from the 5 million Californians who spend SNAP benefits at 23,874 authorized EBT retailers across our state. This represents a loss of as much as $6.46 billion in total economic activity, hurting farmers, farmworkers, truckers, grocers, and others across our critical food sector.

Even after the recent TFP reevaluation, SNAP benefits still only average $6 per person per day – barely more than a cup of coffee, and still fall short of the cost of low-income meals in 98% of California counties

Forcing cost neutral Thrifty Food Plan reevaluations is not only a SNAP cut but will also impact other critical nutrition programs like the TEFAP and Summer EBT. These simultaneous cuts will hamper the ability of food banks to serve their communities, and will increase hunger for children during summer months when school is out. 

In sharp contrast to Chair Thompson’s proposal, Chair Stabenow lays out a forward-looking framework that builds on several of SNAP’s strengths to prevent hunger, fundamentally by preserving future Thrifty Food Plan re-evaluations, in addition to:

  • Removing the punitive drug felon ban and better supporting people coming home from incarceration to apply for SNAP, proven to support a healing re-entry to community.
  • Permanently ensuring that SNAP recipients who are victims of benefit theft such as “skimming” that has ravaged Californains can have their benefits replaced. 
  • Exploring pathways for SNAP recipients to purchase hot and prepared foods. 
  • Finally securing a pathway to SNAP for Puerto Rico.

At a time when 1 in 5 households in California are experiencing hunger with deep disparities for communities of color, we call on the California Congressional Delegation to prioritize bold policy solutions through:

  • The Closing the Meal Gap Act (H.R. 3037 Adams / S. 1336 Gillibrand) which would move SNAP benefit calculations to the more realistic Low Cost Food Plan
  • The Improving Access to Nutrition Act (H.R. 1510 Lee / S. 2435 Welch) which would repeals SNAP’s harsh and counterproductive three-month time limit for out-of-work Americans and improves SNAP access for families working their way up the economic ladder
  • The Enhance Access To SNAP Act (H.R. 3183 Gomez / S. 1488 Gillibrand) which would eliminate the outdated and unfair SNAP restrictions for college students

SNAP Emergency Allotments (EAs) allowed Californians to buy more and a greater variety of food, helped families weather income fluctuations, and stabilized households. Now that EAs have ended, food insecurity has intensified, households are making tradeoffs between food and other expenses, physical and mental health have declined, and local economies have suffered. 

We urge all California Members of Congress to reject any cuts to SNAP, including to the Thrifty Food Plan, and to build on the Senate framework to strengthen SNAP and the emergency feeding programs as our nation’s proven anti-hunger safety net. 


End Child Poverty in California (ECPCA) is a campaign jointly sponsored by GRACE End Child Poverty Institute and GRACE (Gather, Respect, Advocate, Change, Engage).

GRACE End Child Poverty Institute is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that uses advocacy, legislative advocacy and mobilization programs to achieve its mission.  The mission of GRACE End Child Poverty is to make a positive difference in the lives of low-income families and their children through value-based collaborations and by formulating, implementing, and expanding measures to reduce barriers to full personal development and economic stability.


RELEASE: GRACE & End Child Poverty CA Joint Statement with CalWIC Association on Opposing SNAP Restrictions and Supporting Fully Funding WIC

[PASADENA, CALIF., UNITED STATES, February 28, 2024] — Statement attributable to Karen Farley, Executive Director of the California WIC Association, and Shimica Gaskins, President and CEO of GRACE/End Child Poverty California, regarding the Fiscal Year 2024 bill for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration:

We urge Congress to both fully fund the Special Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and reject any efforts promoting a policy of limiting food choice in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  

SNAP is the country’s most important anti-hunger program and the nutritional benefits of this program have been well documented. It has also been well documented that the best way to improve the nutrition of low-income households is to reduce stigma in the current program and to increase the benefits provided in the program. The proposal to pilot restricting food purchases endeavors to do neither. 

WIC served nearly a million Californians in 2023, and more than half (54%) of all infants born in California were certified by WIC in 2018. Full funding for WIC is urgently needed to ensure continuity of the nutrition, breastfeeding, and other critical supports that pregnant and parenting adults, and babies, rely upon every day.

Funding for WIC is in no way related to funding for SNAP, and the programs should not be pitted against one another. 

Policymakers have a responsibility to keep America’s children fed and ensure their long-term health and success. WIC must be fully funded, and SNAP recipients must be allowed to continue make their food purchasing decisions based on the needs of their family.


End Child Poverty in California (ECPCA) is a campaign jointly sponsored by GRACE End Child Poverty Institute and GRACE (Gather, Respect, Advocate, Change, Engage).

GRACE End Child Poverty Institute is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that uses advocacy, legislative advocacy and mobilization programs to achieve its mission.  The mission of GRACE End Child Poverty is to make a positive difference in the lives of low-income families and their children through value-based collaborations and by formulating, implementing, and expanding measures to reduce barriers to full personal development and economic stability.


RELEASE: GRACE & End Child Poverty CA Statement on Proposed Federal Tax Deal

ECPCA & GRACE urge Congress to improve the poverty-fighting potential of this package and to adopt proposal, benefitting more than 2 million children in California left out of the CTC under current law

[PASADENA, CALIF., UNITED STATES, January 16, 2024] Statement attributable to Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO, GRACE & End Child Poverty California (ECPCA):

Today, chairs of the Senate Finance Committee and House Ways and Means Committee announced a deal that would be transformative to roughly 77% of the children nationwide whose families have been unable to claim the federal Child Tax Credit (CTC) since the pandemic-era expansion expired in 2021. Biden expanded the CTC under the American Rescue Plan Act, giving cash to families who needed it most and directly benefiting over 8 million children in California alone. This version of the CTC – one that offered larger credit amounts, was inclusive of children regardless of immigration status, fully refundable, and without an earnings requirement – remains our North Star. We remind stakeholders of the historic rise in poverty after its expiration and that ending poverty is a policy choice. 

The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 has meaningful restorations that make the refundable portion of the credit larger for families, especially those with multiple children. Initial estimates are that once the deal takes full effect, over half a million children would be lifted out of poverty, likely including tens of thousands of California children.  

Given the proven record of the enhanced CTC, this deal falls short of what our families need and deserve – including children with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITINs), full refundability, especially for low-income families, removing the arbitrary $2,500 earnings requirement, and increasing the overall size of the credit. Under current law, 98% of children in families in the lowest 20% tax bracket do not receive the full CTC, and the Wyden-Smith proposal only brings that figure down to 93%

Ultimately, this means that more unrestricted cash will largely not flow to the lowest-income families. Our families deserve more, and we know Congress is up to the task – we proved as much in 2021. These important, yet modest, improvements in the CTC are also paired with tax breaks to corporations which are projected to balloon in cost over time and threaten the parity of this package.

We therefore urge members of Congress to improve the poverty-fighting potential of this package and quickly take action to pass this proposal, benefitting more than 2 million children in California left out of the CTC under current law. This deal is an important step towards ending poverty nationwide, and we thank the California members fighting to maximize the poverty-fighting focus of these provisions.

Congress should prioritize investments in our nation’s children on their own, and should not need to be tied to other provisions that do not advance a more redistributive system of revenues and investments. Nevertheless we urge Congress to swiftly enact these provisions in order to ensure children and families benefit in time to file their taxes, then to continue making strides that bring us back to the expanded CTC under ARPA, providing what families truly need and advance an end to child poverty.

Infographic Source:
Hughes, Joe. (2024). Children Not Receiving Full Child Tax Credit Under Current Law vs. Proposal [Infographic]. Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. https://itep.org/congress-tax-deal-child-tax-credit-corporate-tax-breaks/


End Child Poverty in California (ECPCA) is a campaign jointly sponsored by GRACE End Child Poverty Institute and GRACE (Gather, Respect, Advocate, Change, Engage).

GRACE End Child Poverty Institute is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that uses advocacy, legislative advocacy and mobilization programs to achieve its mission.  The mission of GRACE End Child Poverty is to make a positive difference in the lives of low-income families and their children through value-based collaborations and by formulating, implementing, and expanding measures to reduce barriers to full personal development and economic stability.


RELEASE: GRACE & ECPCA Are Pleased Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Protects Anti-Poverty Investments

Statement on Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2024-25 Budget

ECPCA & GRACE urge adoption of revenues and investments needed to advance a more equitable California

[PASADENA, CALIF., UNITED STATES, January 10, 2024] Statement attributable to Shimica Gaskins, President & CEO, GRACE & End Child Poverty California (ECPCA):

GRACE and ECPCA dare to dream of a future in which every child is valued and free. We applaud Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2024-25 Budget for protecting important investments for children and families and continuing critical progress toward making our shared vision a reality.

From day one, Governor Newsom has made ending child poverty his north star – and today is no different. We thank Governor Newsom and his Administration for continuing that commitment, again rejecting harmful austerity cuts and recognizing that when the state falls on hard times, the programs that help lift children and families out of poverty are needed more than ever.

In particular, the January budget reaffirms ongoing commitments to community-informed ECPCA IMAGINE priorities, including:

  • Universal School Meals so all our children are nourished
  • The California Earned Income Tax Credit and Young Child Tax Credit so families have much-needed financial security
  • Aligning systems from Cradle to Career to create freedom and opportunity for families as they raise their children 
  • A national pilot opportunity to advance a reimagined CalWORKs program that centers family’s needs and dignity

In the effort to resolve the state’s budget problem, we will be looking closely at the proposed withdrawal from the Safety Net Reserve and the proposed cuts to the CalWORKs Family Stabilization Program (FSP) and Housing Supplement for Foster Youth in Supervised Independent Living Placements. The FSP was created to ensure housing, mental health, safety, and family stability for some of our most vulnerable families with children. It is a program CalWORKs parents and advocates have prioritized for expansion. 

Governor Newsom and legislative leaders have much to be proud of in creating and strengthening programs proven to prevent child poverty and build broad prosperity. These measures, along with federal investments made during the pandemic, drove child poverty to historic lows and closed long-standing racial inequities. As important as those gains are, income inequality in California continues to grow, and California still has the highest poverty rate of any state in the nation.

Our federal and state policymakers must continue to take decisive action. The good news is that the state and federal governments have unequivocally shown that poverty is a policy choice – and the state budget is a fundamental opportunity to advance a poverty-free future. 

We urge the Governor and Legislature to continue to take the actions needed to lift every California child and family out of poverty. This requires a combination of revenues to ensure that wealthy corporations pay their fair share and investments in programs proven to lift children and families out of poverty and reverse long-standing racial inequities.

Again, we thank Governor Newsom for his continued leadership to put wealth to work. We ask the Governor to ensure that the values of California’s budget, both in revenues and investments, prioritize the future free from poverty we know is possible. 

We look forward to engaging with all stakeholders throughout the budget process.


End Child Poverty in California (ECPCA) is a campaign jointly sponsored by GRACE End Child Poverty Institute and GRACE (Gather, Respect, Advocate, Change, Engage).

GRACE End Child Poverty Institute is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization that uses advocacy, legislative advocacy and mobilization programs to achieve its mission.  The mission of GRACE End Child Poverty is to make a positive difference in the lives of low-income families and their children through value-based collaborations and by formulating, implementing, and expanding measures to reduce barriers to full personal development and economic stability.


Census Data Underscores That Poverty Is A Policy Choice

Historic increase in child poverty reinforces urgent need for continued state and federal actions for equitable revenues and investments


Today, the Census Bureau released 2022 data for poverty, income, and health insurance in 2022 from its Current Population Survey (CPS). While we await California-specific information, the national data makes it clear that when using the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which reflects the cost of living and the poverty-fighting power of public programs, that poverty rose by historic levels:

  • Child poverty more than doubled from 5.2% to 12.4% from 2021-2022, the largest one-year increase ever.
  • Black and Latinx children continued to face stark racial inequities, with poverty rates of 17.8% and 19.5% respectively, compared to 7.2% for non-Hispanic white children.
  • Overall poverty was 12.4%, 4.6 percentage points higher than 2021, also the highest one-year increase ever
  • Non-citizens experienced disproportionately high poverty, more than twice the U.S.-born population (24.4% vs. 11.2%)


While shocking in scope, these numbers are unfortunately not a surprise, and reverse what had been historic lows in poverty as well as progress in closing long-standing racial inequities, just one year earlier. There is no question that the rise in poverty is a result of policy decisions to reverse course on what had been highly effective investments in pandemic-era programs, especially: 

This is even more sobering in light of a substantial increase in people working full-time year-round in 2022 – including the largest ever share of women working full-time year-round. The rise in poverty despite the strong labor market reinforces that too many jobs do not pay enough for families to meet their basic needs.


Census data highlights the power and effectiveness of public sector investments

Despite the dramatic worsening of poverty, the data also affirms the vital role of the government to lift children and families out of poverty when it takes aggressive actions to bolster public programs. Key federal programs that delivered major poverty reductions include the Child Tax Credit and other refundable credits, CalFresh (SNAP nationally), and school meals.


Poverty data is an urgent call for continued state and federal actions of public sector investments

The data highlights the pressing need for ongoing government action to fight poverty and advance a future of inclusive prosperity we know is possible. Black and Brown families are disproportionately impacted by the expiration of the successful interventions, and racial inequities will only be exacerbated unless governments take bold action to combat poverty. It is unequivocal that public sector investments effectively lift children and families out of poverty, while demonstrating high returns on investment.

We call on national and state policymakers to take continued action to fight poverty, including: 

California must also continue to lead, and we call on the Governor and Legislature to build on their record of significant action to fight poverty to enact the bold policies needed to imagine a poverty-free, abundant future

Simply put, we know what works. As President Biden said, the rise in poverty is no accident, but a deliberate policy choice. We call on our state and federal policymakers to take the actions needed for more equitable revenues and investments needed to end child poverty once and for all. 



Successful ECPCA Member Briefing! Thank you!

To see highlights from the day: Click here for Twitter, here for Facebook, and here for Instagram!

What a joy and pleasure it was to be joined by our partners, family and community leaders, and our legislators at the Lifting Children & Families Out of Poverty Legislative Briefing! Our community came together in the State Capitol to make our voices heard. We’re ready to take action on the issues facing Californians living in poverty in 2023. 

We know that poverty is a policy choice. We also know the solutions to end it. 

Thank you to Senator Nancy Skinner, Civil Rights Leader Dolores Huerta and all who spoke for your show of support and powerful words. Take a look at the full list of speakers below. We value our leaders who prioritize support for ALL California children!

“People don’t appreciate that families are living on the edge, and the toxic stress that poverty places on them and their children and families. It is imperative we prioritize ending poverty even in a year when we may be in deficit.”

Senator Nancy Skinner

“We cannot continue to brag about what a great state we are, if we don’t share the wealth. We need to bring the money back to the people who create it. My question to you all is, ‘Are you ready to do the work?’”

Dolores Huerta

Our coalition is ready for action in 2023. We will continue to lift each other up and push for policies that lift children and families out of poverty for good!

__________

Thank you to our speakers!

Senator Nancy Skinner

Civil Rights Leader, Dolores Huerta

Gia Mclean, Parent Voices

Maritza De León, Parent Voices

Josefina Ramirez Notsinneh, Children Now

Tiffany Whiten, California State Council of SEIU

Mayra Alvarez, The Children’s Partnership

Itzúl Gutierrez, California Association of Food Banks

Joel Campos, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County 

Alexis Castro, California Immigrant Policy Center 

Mónica Lazo, Golden State Opportunity

Mandy Nand, United Ways of California

Christopher Sanchez, Western Center on Law & Poverty

Senator Nancy Skinner gives opening remarks during the ECPCA Member Briefing on January 25, 2023.

While we couldn’t live stream the event, the recording is on YouTube and also can be viewed on Senator Skinner’s website.

Lifting Children & Families Out of Poverty Member Briefing

Introductions & Opening Remarks

  • 0:00: Andrew Cheyne, GRACE & ECPCA
  • 2:30: Senator Nancy Skinner
  • 10:29: Gia Jones, Parent Voices CA (Q&A with Gia starts at 14:00)
  • 17:28: Shimica Gaskins, GRACE & ECPCA
  • 21:54: Devon Gray, EPIC
  • 27:06: Chris Hoene, California Budget & Policy Center
  • 34:29: Camila Chavez, Dolores Huerta Foundation
  • 41:15: Dolores Huerta, Dolores Huerta Foundation

Policy Area Presentations

Early Care and Education
46:45: Maritza de León, Parent Voices
50:25: Josefina Ramirez Notsinneh, Children Now

Labor
53:13: Tiffany Whiten, California State Council of SEIU

Health Care and a Whole Child Approach
58:18: Mayra Alvarez, The Children’s Partnership

Hunger Cliff and Anti-Hunger Priorities
1:04:19: Itzúl Gutierrez, California Association of Food Banks
1:07:00: Joel Campos, Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County

Safety Net 4 All
1:11:20: Alexis Castro, California Immigrant Policy Center

Tax Credit Equity
1:15:39: Mandy Nand, United Ways of California
1:18:46: Mónica Lazo, Golden State Opportunity

Access to Justice
1:21:30: Christopher Sanchez, Western Center on Law and Poverty

Reimaging CalWORKs
1:23:48: Andrew Cheyne, GRACE & ECPCA


End Child Poverty CA Coalition 2019-2020 Budget Wins

The final California state budget allocates almost $5 billion toward investments called for in the State Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force’s End Child Poverty Plan.

State legislation created the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force to develop an anti-poverty plan that was released just before the new governor and legislature took their oaths of office in January. The End Child Poverty in California Coalition of 50+ partners rallied people, organizations and elected officials to adopt the Task Force’s End Child Poverty Plan, which would end deep child poverty in just four years when fully implemented. The End Child Poverty Plan would also reduce overall child poverty by 50 percent over the next decade.

As a result, the final state budget includes unprecedented investments to address deep child poverty. Furthermore, several pieces of legislation and budget proposals have been introduced to implement the comprehensive End Child Poverty Plan.

“This budget represents an unprecedented strategic investment to address poverty and inequality in California. Make no mistake, however — this is a down payment. Fully funding the Task Force’s plan would end deep child poverty in California in four years, and our campaign will keep working with our elected officials and all Californians to do just that. Thank you to the Governor and the Legislature with leaders on both sides of the aisle and across the political spectrum for their unprecedented action to help kids and families,” said Conway Collis, co-chair of the Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force, and CEO of GRACE and End Child Poverty in California.

450,000 California children live in deep child poverty. If concentrated as a population, those children would comprise the state’s eighth largest city — larger than Oakland, twice as large as San Bernardino, and just smaller than Long Beach. When fully realized, savings generated by lifting these children from poverty would total $12 billion annually, on an ongoing basis, representing a dramatic return on investment.

“We could not have done this without the broad-based coalition of anti-poverty advocates, faith-based organizations, non-profits, education advocates, business and labor who worked tirelessly to build support for this important victory. This budget is a reflection of the beginning of a sea change, with ending child poverty in California, as the Governor has stated, his North Star.  We have more to do, but this is a significant step in the right direction and we are looking forward to continuing our work with this coalition, the legislature and the Governor,” said Jackie Thu-Huong Wong, Vice President for Policy and Advocacy at GRACE and End Child Poverty in 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, who represent one out of every five California kids. Deep poverty is defined as families living at or 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.

Infographic: Key End Child Poverty CA Coalition Budget Wins

Additional CA Budget Information & Reactions

  • State budget analysis from our coalition partner Western Center on Law & Poverty: click here.
  • Budget statement from CalEITC4Me on the California Earned Income Tax Credit expansion: click here.
  • Statement on child care wins from our coalition partners Parent Voices & Child Care Law Center: click here.
  • Article in Vox on the CalEITC expansion in California and its national relevance: click here.
  • Additional information on the End Child Poverty Plan: click here.
    LA Times story on the release of the End Child Poverty Plan: click here.


PETITION TO OUR LEADERS: Make Ending Child Poverty a 2019 Priority

We have to make sure our California leaders know that for 2 million kids, ending child poverty can’t wait.

We’re at a key juncture as Governor Gavin Newsom revises his proposed California budget and legislators fight for their bills. SIGN ON to tell our elected leaders that the End Child Poverty Plan should be a key priority in 2019.

  • It’s comprehensive and achievable.
  • It invests in families and communities.
  • It will END extreme poverty in California for 450,000 kids.

Let’s do this! The End Child Poverty Plan letter has already been signed by over 60 esteemed California organizations. Seventeen pieces of legislation supporting the plan have already been introduced and the list is growing. We have to keep the momentum going so Governor Newsom and California State Legislators know this movement is only growing. Click to sign on:

Read the full letter below and click here for the press release. Help amplify the movement by sharing on social media:

    

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

We are writing as a broad coalition of Californians 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 End Child Poverty Plan.

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 California’s Child Poverty 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 plan 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-profits, religious leaders, business organizations, and concerned individuals we urge that the comprehensive End Child 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.

Sincerely,

[YOUR NAME]

Also signed and supported by:

GRACE

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

The Actors Gang

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

CalEITC4ME

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

Maryvale

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

 

cc: Members of the California State Legislature


Watch the Video: MLK’s Fight for Justice Continues in California

Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy of fighting for racial and economic justice continues today in California. In December, we gathered with faith and moral leaders and MLK’s recently revived Poor People’s Campaign to make clear our goals: California must eliminate extreme poverty for children and families, and prioritize the needs of the poor.

Although poverty hits across racial divides, it disproportionately affects people of color in California. We want better for our kids. We’re going to be making sure our leaders know that in 2019 we want to see California’s groundbreaking End Child Poverty Plan that will eliminate deep child poverty enacted.

Watch and share this video as you honor MLK’s legacy:

Fifty years after Martin Luther King, Jr.’s death, our country is more economically unequal. The need is urgent. Recommit to racial and economic justice, and get ready for action in 2019. Help out by sharing the video on Twitter, Facebook, or forwarding the link to a friend: http://www.endchildpovertyca.org/watch-the-video-mlks-fight-for-justice-continues-in-california/.

Thank you for being with us in this fight!

In solidarity,
Conway, Jackie, and the End Child Poverty in California Team
#EndChildPoverty #PassThePlan


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