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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.” 


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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