California Calls, a statewide coalition of community based organizations, released the following statement from President Anthony Thigpenn in response to Governor Brown’s proposed 2015-16 budget:
“The Governor’s Proposed Budget forces the most vulnerable Californians to live in persistent poverty and contradicts voter-approved solutions like Prop 47. While the economy and Prop 30 have boosted funding for K-14 education, support to help low-income parents find quality child care and preschool, are still well below pre-recession levels. Similarly, while the spending plan invests $1.2 billion in adult education and workforce training, it fails to increase the state contribution to SSI/SSP grants, which 1.3 million low-income seniors and people with disabilities use for basic needs. Other proposal shortfalls include not restoring funding for CalWorks, not guaranteeing Medi-Cal coverage for deferred action beneficiaries, and allocating $500 million to state corrections even though crime and the average prison population are declining.”
“The proposed budget is a reminder that we need to increase revenue to restore funding for critical safety net services by closing corporate tax loopholes. California Calls will build on the shared success of the Yes on Prop 47 campaign, for which we collectively identified over 193,000 yes votes, and mobilized our growing base of over 625,000 new and infrequent voters to ensure that California reinvests in services to bring us close to funding education and safety net services to pre-recession levels.”
California Calls is a growing alliance of 31 grassroots, community-based organizations spanning urban, rural and suburban counties across the state. We engage, educate and motivate new and infrequent voters among young people, from communities of color, and from poor and working class neighborhoods to make California’s electorate reflect our state’s diverse population. Through our bottom-up approach, we are organizing voters most impacted by budget cuts and deteriorating public services in support of systemic, progressive solutions to our state’s fiscal crisis. Working together, and including those who are often left out of policy decisions, we believe we can reclaim the California Dream of equality, opportunity and prosperity for all Californians.