Last night, at a citizen’s budget forum, we heard moving testimonies from people about the impact of proposed cuts to childcare and CalWORKS. Shown left are Berenice Araujo and Freddy Araujo, Berenice’s grandfather. Freddy spoke how about how important quality childcare is for his granddaughter’s health and educational advancement. Then five year-old Berenice asked to speak too and shared her testimony at the mike!
Betty Yee, member of the State Board of Equalization and Dr. Joseph Bankman, a tax scholar based at Stanford, proposed eye-opening ways of thinking about tax expenditures and balancing the budget. Here’s a link to the forum where you can watch the video.
In response to the letter writing campaign that we launched last week, about 5,000 letters have been sent to California legislators. We’re deeply touched by the response and know that for too long, the voices and perspectives of low-income women and families have been missing from the halls of Sacramento. If you sent a letter, thank you. If you’d like to send a letter to your senator TODAY, you can do so here.
Things are moving quickly as the California budget nears the Governor’s desk. This morning, Judy issued a statement in reference to the Assembly’s proposed budget. Here it is:
“I applaud the Assembly and Senate for working to find compromises that consider the needs of low-income families. I am grateful to the steadfast leadership of the Assembly in withstanding pressure to gut and restructure childcare, CalWORKS and Cal Grants. These critical programs help low-income families to break the cycle of poverty, while contributing to the economic health of California as a whole. We know that the dollars invested in these programs return $1.31 for every dollar invested to their local economies.
Yet, it amazes me that these programs are perceived as a drain on the economy when in truth these investments in human capital fuel the economy for the short and the long-term as they help women find employment and contribute to the tax base.
Tonight, the budget proposed by the
Assembly is within one percent of the Governor’s proposed budget. While it is not perfect, it is an important step to protect women and children while our economy recovers. We urge the Senate to support the Assembly proposal and present the Governor with a balanced budget. We urge the Governor to sign this budget.”
Within the next couple days, we will be turning our attention to the governor, and will keep you posted.