Imagine a world where every child has access to quality early education, healthcare, and food on the table.
January 24, 2024 is Lifting Up Families Advocacy Day and we’re raising awareness about how California lawmakers can best meet the whole needs of California’s families and children. We’re joining forces with other child and family advocates to demand more comprehensive supports for our state’s youngest and most vulnerable population.
Lawmakers and advocates conversed on a variety of issues from child care to poverty, food and housing insecurity, during a hybrid day of advocacy.
“If we want to stabilize the family and get children out of poverty, we need to stabilize the entire network around them,” said Senator Caroline Menjivar. “We can’t just focus on the child, we have to focus on the parents and their support system.”
Nearly 1 in 5 Californians – about 8 million people – currently experience food insecurity. A 2023 EDSource report found that California public schools counted 183,312 students as homeless during the 2020-21 school year by the annual Census Day.
For families to thrive, the programs that lift them up must be coordinated. At CCRC’s recent policy forum, panelists discussed how siloed resources create barriers to access for families most in need of services.
“You can’t have a functioning society without adequate child care, the economy simply doesn’t work,” said Assemblyman Dr. Corey Jackson. “You have to make sure to honor the time and sacrifice that families are making to go to these places. We have to stop waiting until people are in crisis because that means people are in pain.”
“A parent will go to the place they know and will want to get all the services right there,” said Menjivar. “Let’s support them to do that right then and there because that might be the only touch that families [receives].”
Together we are a unified voice demanding stronger safety net programs that will work to end to childhood poverty, hunger, homelessness, and family instability.
“The budget is the most fundamental statement of values. We can say we value something but if we don’t put the money there, it doesn’t say much,” said Assemblyman Alex Lee. “3.2 million more Californians would live in poverty without our safety nets and those are things that are on the chopping block right now.”
“I’m a MediCAL baby, I was on it until the day I aged out. My family truly benefited from what you are all fighting for,” said Assemblywoman Stephanie Nguyen. “How can we push them out there to go to work if we’re not supporting them with where they need to be? Safety net programs are really important. When you cut those, everything falls apart and crumbles down.”
The event began with opening remarks from GLIDE CEO Gina Fromer, Ph.D. and Thriving Families California CEO Denyne Colburn. Speakers included:
ASM Jim Patterson
ASM Juan Alanis
ASM Isaac Bryan
ASM Gail Pellerin
ASM James Gallagher
SEN Maria Elena Durazo
ASM Dr. Corey Jackson
ASM Stephanie Nguyen
ASM Lori Wilson
Newsom Administration Representatives: Richard Figueroa and Nichole Murillo