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January 25: Lifting Children & Families Out of Poverty Member Briefing

Connect with legislators and legislative staff, partners and advocates, and community members at one of our first events of 2023!

  • Who: Co-hosted by ECPCA & EPIC
    • Speakers include: Sen. Skinner, Dolores Huerta Foundation, + more!
  • What: Lifting Children & Families Out of Poverty Member Briefing
  • When: Wednesday, January 25  |  12:00-1:30 pm PST
  • Where: 1021 O Street, Room 1200 | Sacramento, CA
    • No live stream, a recording will be available after the event
  • RSVP: Via Eventbrite
  • How about legislative visits? This is a perfect opportunity to check in with representatives and staff! We’re asking partners to schedule visits around the 12-1:30 pm briefing time. 
  • Support us: Spread the word by sharing the invite, the Eventbrite link, and/or one of our social posts with your networks!
  • Questions? Contact Andrew Cheyne
Rectangle with three rows of colors: grey brown, light blue, and dark blue and a yellow border. Dandelion images in the background. Top left corner says IMAGINE and top right corner has the EPIC and ECPCA logos. Text reads: Member Briefing: Lifting Children & Families Out of Poverty.  Join Sen. Nancy Skinner, Dolores Huerta Foundation, people with lived expertise, and advocates for a briefing on 2023 policy priorities to lift children and families out of poverty. Bottom includes details on the event (included in text).

RELEASE: End Child Poverty California Statement on Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2023-24 Budget

We Commend the Governor for Protecting Progress, and Call For Continued Action to End Poverty

January 10, 2023 / / Pasadena, CA

Statement attributable to Shimica Gaskins, President and CEO of GRACE and End Child Poverty California:

Today, Governor Newsom released his 2023-24 Proposed Budget Summary. We commend Governor Newsom for his clear call to prioritize Californians on the front lines of economic hardship, a theme he echoed throughout his press conference, including protecting vital programs proven to prevent poverty and build prosperity. 

We further applaud the Governor for some of the key decisions made to balance the state’s budget given the fiscal conditions. This includes the prudent choice to withdraw the $750 million payment on the state’s outstanding federal loans for unemployment benefits, which the LAO noted would “provide no near-term economic relief to employers or workers.”

We urge the Governor and Legislature to build on this strong first step to take actions needed to address the moral imperative to lift every California child and family out of poverty. As Langston Hughes reminds us, a dream deferred is a dream denied. 

We must act now to make sure all our children are valued, healthy, secure, and free from poverty.  

The Governor wisely proposes increased support for families experiencing homelessness, to help keep families housed, as well as nation-leading health for all, in this year’s budget. He offers new proposals such as the Health and Human Services Innovation Accelerator Initiative, that if includes CalWORKs and CalFresh, could make bold improvements to access of critical safety net programs.

Those investments build on transformative actions taken during the pandemic including baby bonds, health care, tax credits for families, cradle to career supports, and other End Child Poverty Plan recommendations. 

It is not an overstatement that those gains, and the lives of California’s children living in extreme poverty, are at risk. They are struggling to survive as their families face the toxic stress of inflation, food insecurity, homelessness and other challenges as key federal interventions like the expiration of the expanded Child Tax Credit that brought poverty to historic lows and closed racial inequities.

While we continue to call on Congress and the White House to take continued action, California must continue to lead. Budgets are statements of our values, especially in a challenging year. 

We again commend the Governor for protecting critical progress made, and call on all budget stakeholders to maximize opportunities to advance the future free from poverty we know is possible. GRACE and End Child Poverty California look forward to working with the Governor, Administration, and Legislature to ensure that investments to end poverty are prioritized – our children and families simply cannot wait.

For a summary of California’s latest investment in supporting our low-income children and families, read our recap of the 2022-23 legislative session and ECPCA priorities below.


RELEASE: Western Regional Anti-Hunger Joint Statement Opposing SNAP Cut Offset in the 2023 Federal Omnibus

December 20, 2022

Our organizations are members of the Western Regional Anti-Hunger Consortium (WRAHC), a coalition of anti-hunger groups across the Western United States. We write with deep appreciation by leaders in Congress to secure badly needed investments in programs that prevent hunger in the end of year omnibus spending bill. This includes some of the first improvements to child nutrition programs in over ten years. We cannot, however, support an offset to create a Summer EBT program by cutting SNAP benefits, and urge Congress not to consider any sources that are dedicated to existing anti-poverty programs.

The pandemic proved unequivocally that hunger and poverty are a policy choice, and that government can solve these crises when it acts. In 2021, child poverty fell to a record low of 5.2%, and food insecurity for households with children fell to a two-decade low.1 Expanded federal response to the pandemic-induced economic crisis, including Emergency Allotments provided through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and temporarily available nationwide school meals for all, made key contributions to that success.2

The West has long led the way in identifying the need for3 and championing4,5 the effort to create a permanent, nation-wide Summer EBT program that would provide a grocery card to children in low-income families during the summer, the hungriest months for children. It has been shown as one of the most effective interventions to fight child hunger.6

As much as we support Summer EBT, we cannot support the offset to cut SNAP by prematurely ending the Emergency Allotments, which will on average mean a loss of $82 per person a month.7 This is consistent with our position against the 2010 Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act that funded improved school meal nutrition standards by prematurely sunsetting the SNAP boost from the ARRA. This created a major hunger cliff,8 which contributed to the decade long period of elevated hunger and poverty.9

These programs are extremely valuable on their own merits and should not be pitted against one another. SNAP is the first and best line of defense against hunger for these children and their families. And for many children in low-income families, meals offered through child nutrition programs in and out of school provide invaluable nutrition assistance. Taking money from one nutrition program that benefits low-income children and families to pay for another does little to alleviate the struggle with hunger these families are experiencing especially in these times when food prices have increased 13% over the last year.10

Additionally, reducing SNAP benefits now will be more harmful for our economy which stands on the brink of recession. Research shows that in a slowing economy, every $1 of SNAP spent generates between $1.50 to $1.80 in economic activity or contributes $1.54 billion to our GDP.11 Ending the Emergency Allotments means less spending in local food economies, the loss of jobs, and most importantly, less food on the family dinner table.

We urge Congress to pass an omnibus that includes comprehensive child nutrition reauthorization including long overdue improvements to the Community Eligibility Provision as well as establish nationwide permanent Summer EBT before the end of the 117th Congress, without cuts to SNAP or any other antipoverty programs as an offset. We believe this is the best way to ensure that all children have access to healthy meals through SNAP and child nutrition programs.

Sincerely,

Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Coalition

California Association of Food Banks

Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations

Equal Rights Advocates

Food Bank of Northern Nevada

GRACE & End Child Poverty CA

Hunger Free Colorado

Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force

Northwest Harvest

Nourish California

Oregon Food Bank

Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon

Western Center on Law and Poverty

1 https://www.cbpp.org/blog/food-insecurity-at-a-two-decade-low-for-households-with-kids-signaling-successful-relief

2 https://www.census.gov/library/stories/2022/09/record-drop-in-child-poverty.html

3 https://voiceofsandiego.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/Summer+Meals+Report_April+2014_SDHC.pdf

4 https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3519

5 https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/1831

6 https://www.fns.usda.gov/sfsp/summer-electronic-benefit-transfer-children-sebtc-demonstration-summary-report

7 https://www.fns.usda.gov/tfp/blog-083021

8 http://foodbanknyc.org/wp-content/uploads/HungerCliff_ResearchBrief.pdf

9 https://rules.house.gov/sites/democrats.rules.house.gov/files/Impact-COVID19-Californias-Emergency-Food-System-Maxde-Faria-CAFB.pdf

10 https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2022/prices-for-food-at-home-up-13-5-percent-for-year-ended-august-2022.htm

11 https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/93529/err-265.pdf


IMAGINE: Forward Together. No Going Back. 2023 ECPCA Campaign Launch

Our End Child Poverty California Coalition vision in 2023 is Forward together. No going back.

We’re ready to work together. We’re ready to get amazing things done. The financial outlook for the year looks tough. But our 170+ organizations are committed to action.

Together, our coalition can

  • Lift all children out of deep poverty
  • Create a more meaningful California Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC)
  • Renew the Expanded Child Tax Credit
  • Get rate increases & critical support for child care providers and families
  • Invest in community cradle-to-career networks
  • Implement HOPE Accounts so vulnerable youth have hope for the future
  • End racist and sexist CalWORKs policies
  • …and so much more!

“Forward Together. No Going Back.” is a nod to the fact that in financially tough times, across-the-board cuts to programs (austerity cuts) don’t work. In fact, they’re devastating for families. We’re not going back to the across-the-board cuts of the Great Recession.

We’re charting a new path. In lean times, we can make sure the most vulnerable Californians are protected. This is how we fight racism, xenophobia, and oppression in California. 

We imagine a future where all our children are: Nourished. Respected. Secure. Valued. Free. 

It IS possible. We will achieve this bright future together.

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Look for our simple action emails this legislative season. Get on the list. Email Evelyn@NectarCollaborative.com.


RELEASE: End Child Poverty California Coalition Statement of Principles on the Special Legislative Session

PASADENA, CA | November 29, 2022

We applaud Governor Newsom and Legislative leaders for calling to meet in a special session focused on reclaiming a portion of the record windfall profits that oil companies have taken by gouging Californians. 

A majority of low-income California families – disproportionately Black, Latinx, and other Californians of color struggle to meet their basic needs. An astonishing 1 in 3 of all California adults reported cutting back on food, with nearly as many avoiding health care, putting in stark terms the urgency needed for state policymakers to continue to act. 

The good news is that COVID has shown that government is effective when it invests in programs proven to fight poverty and drive shared prosperity. Statewide, our safety net programs – collectively – cut poverty by a remarkable 10.3% and narrowed long-standing racial disparities. 

These results were possible because of combined federal and state leadership, and we continue our call on Congress to expand the Child Tax Credit and invest in Child Nutrition and other programs proven to reduce poverty. 

California must also continue to lead. In order to do so, state budget stakeholders must acknowledge that gouging at the pump affects all of us – that profiteering ripples throughout our economy, raising the price of food and other basic necessities. And, the high cost of gas disproportionately hurts those with low-incomes, regardless of whether they own a car. 

As a result, any relief should recognize that shared hardship, and not be exclusively for those who are able to afford cars and pay the price of gas. State budget stakeholders must prioritize revenues for Californians with the lowest incomes, who have the greatest need, to continue addressing record inequality.

We again thank Governor Newsom and the Legislature for proactively seeking new ways to continue supporting Californians. Government action during the pandemic demonstrated with great success that poverty is a policy choice, and we need only the political will to act. We encourage budget stakeholders to look at all opportunities to ensure that wealthy corporations are paying their fair share and we look forward to working together to develop new revenues that will help the state meet its goals for a more equitable future. 

Members of Executive Steering Committee  

CAPPA | California Alternative Payment Program Association  

California Association of Food Banks  

California Budget & Policy Center

California Immigrant Policy Center  

California Interfaith Coalition/Friends Committee on Legislation  

Child Care Resource Center  

Children Now 

Children’s Defense Fund California  

Dolores Huerta Foundation  

Economic Security Project  

End Poverty in California  

First 5 California 

Marin Promise Partnership Marin County  

MEDA | Mission Economic Development Agency  

National CORE/HOPE Through HOUSING Foundation  

National Foster Youth Institute  

Saint John’s Well Child and Family Center  

South Bay Community Services  

The Children’s Partnership 

United Ways of California  

Western Center on Law and Poverty 

For a full list of all our partners please visit our website: https://www.endchildpovertyca.org

This release can also be read on EIN Presswire.  


What does the Legislature’s budget proposal mean for fighting child poverty?

Two-House Budget Agreement Highlights from ECPCA’s $10 Billion to Fight Poverty Budget Campaign

We are thrilled and appreciative to see many of the budget proposals supported by our Coalition reflected in the Legislature’s proposed state budget. We see these as vital to keeping the momentum on ending child poverty in California. In total, we estimate the Legislature has proposed over $11.1 billion dollars to fight poverty as supported by the End Child Poverty CA Coalition. We are especially excited and in full support to see the Legislature include the following investments:

Urgent Relief Payments

  • Providing $8 billion for the Better for Families Rebates to give $200 per taxpayer and dependent to address increasing costs of basic needs like food and gas;
  • Providing an additional rebate for CalWORKs families and those enrolled in the Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment program

Child Care

  • Increasing the child care reimbursement rate to the 85th percentile of the regional market rate, and including a cost of living increase to the county regional market rate;
  • Investing $200 million in additional childcare facilities as proposed by the Governor’s May Revision;
  • Approving the waiving of family fees for childcare as proposed by the Governor’s May Revision

CalWORKs

  • Increasing CalWORKs grant levels starting July 1, 2023 and providing $789 million to increase CalWORKs grants to end deep child poverty

Child Support

  • Implementing a full-pass through of child support payments to families formerly receiving public assistance as proposed by the Governor’s January budget;
  • Implementing a full-pass through of child support payments to families currently on public assistance in 2024-2025 and on-going 

Transformative Investments

  • Creating the HOPE Account Program to provide trust fund accounts for low-income children who have lost parents or caregivers to COVID-19 and for children who experienced long-term foster care;
  • Approving $12 million as proposed by the Governor’s May Revision as assistance for Promise Neighborhoods to ensure low-income children and families receive place-based, wraparound services from cradle to career

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.”

v

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.   

###

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…

2020 Wins for the End Child Poverty California Movement

We want to share End Child Poverty California movement wins from the most recent California budget.

In spite of the fact that this continues to be an incredibly difficult year, we are moving forward together. We’re proud to work with such a phenomenal group of partners, parents and advocates. We believe ALL our children deserve to be healthy, housed and fed.

On June 29, 2020, California’s newest state budget was finalized. For the first time ever, undocumented families are included in the poverty-fighting CalEITC cash-back tax credit.

This means money going directly to working families who have been left out of economic relief and necessary income supports during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know this money will be used in local communities. We know it will support some of our most vulnerable undocumented families who urgently need money for food, bills, and health care.

End Child Poverty California quote box: For the first time ever, undocumented families with young children are included in the poverty-fighting 
CalEITC cash-back tax credit

The CalEITC tax credit change applies to undocumented families who have children under six, and who file taxes using an Individual Tax Identification Number. These families don’t have Social Security Numbers, but they pay taxes. The change also includes the $1,000 Young Child Tax Credit for any family with children under six earning $1 or more. These changes go into effect next year. For the first time, ALL California families with young children who file taxes and make less than about $30,000 per year will be eligible for these life-saving credits.

We will continue working hard alongside our partners and the CalEITC Coalition and the Safety Net For All Coalition (a network of over 125 organizations) so that more California families can be included in immediate and ongoing relief.

And there is more good news: Both of our End Child Poverty California Senate bills passed out of the State Senate with bipartisan support!

Senate Bill 1103: Workforce Support Services for Californians (Authored by Sen. Melissa Hurtado)

Many promising youth and community members haven’t been able to complete career training programs that lead to higher wage jobs and a path out of poverty, due to the daily challenges of living in poverty. These include lack of child care, commutes of two- to three-hours each way, and the need to work multiple low-wage jobs to support their families while going to training. 

End Child Poverty California Senate Bill 1103 quote from Alma Moreno of Sanger: Many of us have wanted to go back to school but the lack of child care and support makes it very difficult. It’s very difficult to take night classes when you don’t have transportation or resources. We would like to have a brighter future and fight child poverty in California. On behalf of the California Farmworkers Foundation, we strongly support SB 1103.

SB 1103 by Senator Melissa Hurtado (D – Fresno, Kern, Kings and Tulare Counties) creates the High Roads Workforce Training Program that addresses the issues that stop people from graduating. This is an important commitment to families and brighter futures. SB 1103 is particularly important to California’s economic recovery from COVID-19.

Read Alicia’s and Lesly’s stories about why SB 1103 is so important.

Senate Bill 1409: CalEITC Tax Credit Auto-filing Pilot for Families with Low Incomes (Authored by Senator Anna Caballero)

We know that many families earn so little that they are not required to file taxes, yet they are eligible for the CalEITC tax credit and Young Child Tax Credit that would help them with stability and basic necessities. 

SB 1409 authored by Senator Caballero (D – Salinas Valley and parts of the Central Valley) seeks to develop efficiencies in tax filing, so that families can directly receive their CA EITC  and other tax benefits.  Research has shown that as much as $2 Billion State and Federal Tax Credits are left unclaimed.  This bill would cut through bureaucracy and would create methods for direct payments to families.

End Child Poverty California Senate Bill 1409 quote from Senator Anna Caballero: Many of California’s most economically fragile households do not receive CalEITC because they may be unaware they qualify for this critical tax credit or simply do not file a tax return because they earn too little.

This crisis has had an outsized impact on our families in poverty and together we can make sure we change the way we support and create opportunities for families. Looking forward to sharing more good news in support of children and families soon.

More California budget news and analysis from partners:


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.” 


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