Women don't want to break out champagne, they want to break out of poverty.
SACRAMENTO, Calif., May 17, 2013—On Wednesday, May 15, in response to the Governor's Budget Revise, the Women's Foundation of California held a theater performance on the North Capital steps in Sacramento. During the May 15 performance, in which each woman had one hand tied behind her back, the Foundation emphasized that damaging public policies and severe budget cuts tie women's hands and keep them trapped in poverty. Women can't embrace their futures, care for their children and contribute to the economy with one hand tied behind their backs.
“Although we commend the Governor for proposing to spend an additional $48 million next year in CalWORKs job training and subsidies to employment programs, it is not enough to curb poverty in our state,” said Judy Patrick, CEO and President of the Women's Foundation of California. “We're not asking the governor to break out champagne. We're calling for him to take actions that will help women and their families to break out of poverty.”
In the recently released Supplemental Poverty Measure, California was identified as the state with the highest level of poverty in the nation—23.5 percent. The Foundation's anti-poverty strategy includes the following recommendations
- Make CalWORKs (our state's welfare-to-work program) more effective.
- Raise the cash grant by 12 percent plus COLA (cost of living adjustment.)
- Ensure that early engagement is effective. That means that before a woman or family signs their CalWORKs plan, a full assessment has been done to ensure that they receive supportive programs such as counseling, job training and educational opportunities.
- Strengthen childcare. Women can't get and keep jobs if they can't have quality childcare
- Reinvest at least $200 million in childcare, just 20 percent of what's been cut in the past five years.
- Establish a rainy day fund that lays the groundwork to stabilize California and reduce fluctuations in state revenue based on the economy. This would help ensure that California can invest in economic opportunity for all Californians.