California Calls, a statewide coalition of community based organizations working to increase civic and voter engagement in low-income neighborhoods, released the following statement from President Anthony Thigpenn in response to Governor Brown’s proposed 2016-17 budget:
“While the budget may be in “good shape” according to the Governor, Californians are still suffering the impacts of recession era budget cuts. California’s recovery from the great recession has been uneven across the state with nearly 1 in 6 Californians living in poverty in 2014. The Governor’s proposed budget once again fails to restore deep cuts to human services. It is time for California to focus on long-term solutions for reducing poverty by reinvesting in programs that provide a safety net to families in need including increasing monthly grants to Cal-WORKS, repealing the Maximum Family Grant policy, increasing cash assistance for SSI/SSP, and helping make college education more affordable for middle class and low income families.”
“We applaud the $182 million in new funding to expand Medi-Cal eligibility to all low-income children regardless of immigration status. This investment will benefit the lives of approximately 170,000 children and their families and continue California’s legacy as a leader in quality and affordable healthcare access.”
“One thing we can agree on with the Governor is that making one time investments in critical programs is not enough. That’s why California Calls has joined the growing Make It Fair movement – a coalition of over 22 community, faith-based, civil rights and labor organizations committed to closing corporate property tax loopholes while protecting homeowners, renters and small businesses.”
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.