fbpx

Partner Spotlight: Parent Voices

Soon after achieving her dream of owning a hair salon, Jacquelyne Gettone encountered a problem familiar to many parents: She couldn’t find affordable child care that she trusted close to home.

“I had to close my business because I couldn’t afford child care,” she says.

Jacquelyne has now been on California’s subsidized child care waiting list for over a year — and she’s still waiting. “For many families, the waiting list is really the No Hope List,” she says. “It leaves me heartbroken. Eighty-five percent of [children on the waiting list] are children of color. My son Matthew is one of them. The odds are stacking up against him as an African-American boy.”

“Being on the waitlist means spending three to four hours per day commuting, not being able to afford a reliable car, loss of time to spend with my children, having to miss out on my kids’ school and sports activities…It means living paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s made me feel hopeless, frustrated, and stressed.”
– Jacquelyne Gettone, Parent Voices

Jacquelyne is fighting to create more opportunities for families like hers. She’s a member of Parent Voices, one of our End Child Poverty California partners, and traveled from Contra Costa to Sacramento this spring to share her story with state legislators.

Parent Voices is a parent-led organization dedicated to making quality child care accessible and affordable to all families. They work hard to put the experiences of parents at the center of policy decisions, and provide powerful reminders of what’s at stake in our state: Parents are losing jobs and quitting school because of a lack of child care.

To learn more about the important work Parent Voices is doing to expand our families’ access to quality child care, follow @ParentVoicesCA on Twitter.

When the voices of parents unite with those of policy makers, partners, and allies like you, big things happen. Together, just this year, we got $5 billion of the End Child Poverty Plan into the state budget, including 12,500 new childcare slots, 10,000 full-day preschool slots, and childcare guarantees without interruption! 

Jacquelyne (left) and other Parent Voices parent leaders attending a budget hearing at the Capitol.

I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished together with partners like Parent Voices. There’s more work to do to #EndChildPovertyCA, and I look forward to showing up with you — and all our amazing partners — to get even more done in 2020.

Yours, 

Jackie Thu-Huong Wong
Vice President of Policy and Advocacy
End Child Poverty CA


Her Own Words: Monique Rosas “Able to Breathe Again,” Parent Voices San Diego #EndChildPovertyCA

Parent Voices leader Monique gets a hug from her son Makai after speaking in Chula Vista, CA
Parent Voices leader Monique gets a hug from her proud son Makai after speaking at the End Child Poverty CA Bus Tour kickoff event in Chula Vista, May 2019.

Monique is a parent leader from Parent Voices San Diego, and a single parent raising her amazing son Makai. In 2019, she’s been in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Sacramento fighting for parents in poverty. When we listen to the powerful voices of parents, we know without a doubt that all our kids can thrive. In May, Monique shared her story in front of a crowd of about 200 people at Castle Park High School in Chula Vista. Watch Monique’s speech here.

***

Hello, my name is Monique Rosas and I am a parent advocate for Parent Voices, an organization advocating for working families to have affordable child care.

We speak for the voiceless!

I am a 26-year-old San Diego native and single mother to a 4-year-old son named Makai. [Note: Makai is now 5!] Since 1992, my family and I have battled with homelessness. From birth until I was 8-years-old we lived in hotels, shelters, and other people’s homes — experiencing the trauma of being unstable and insecure. [M]y parents suffered from depression due to living in poverty, this led them to substance abuse, but they still did the best they could to support our family.

Growing up as a child into an adult I inherited my parents’ bad habits. Becoming a single parent affected by mental health and I started to abuse substances to relieve the pain of trying to provide for my son by myself. Tired of the intergenerational cycle of poverty, I made a decision to change it and applied for CalWORKs. My activity last year was a women’s recovery program where I became one year sober on January 14th, 2019. Then I graduated from a culinary apprenticeship program through CalWORKs.

I was excited to finally become successful. My next step was to move out. My case manager referred me to transitional housing, which was actually a tent. Now my worst nightmare of my son experiencing deep childhood poverty became true. Since I receive $577 dollars a month for Makai and I, we cannot afford housing. I pay all my bills by the 15th of the month and end up with less than $100 to decide if I pay for gas or toilet paper. I still don’t have enough to save and move out. Even with all my success, I still feel like I’m drowning and gasping for air. There’s no room for growth.

So I believe in this campaign to end childhood deep poverty because it’s going to be the beginning to breaking the cycle – so we may stop drowning to be able to breathe again. Thank you.

==> Listen to more from Monique here.

==> Check out our favorite video of Makai here.

***

California has 450,000 children living in deep poverty. We’re also the only state with a plan to END it. Californians across the state know that all our children can thrive. Already, almost $5 billion has been put toward the End Child Poverty Plan in the 2019-2020 state budget. Investments to end child poverty will pay for themselves over time as parents and children become healthier in body, mind, and spirit, and are able to break free from poverty.

There’s more work to do. We have the research, the plan, and the momentum to end child poverty. Now we need the political and moral courage to see it through.

Join the movement. Add your email at endchildpovertyca.org.

And to find out more about and join in with our partner Parent Voices and the amazing work they’re doing, click here.


Video

Video

Twitter Feed