Thanks to your urging, Senator Kevin de Leon, our President pro tem of the Senate, has put funding to uphold the repeal of the Maximum Family Grant limits on family income for childen born to families on CalWORKs.
CalWORKs as with most state versions of Temporary Aid to Needy Families, gives no additional funding for any children born to a family while they receive federal and state support. CalWORKs barely supports families as it is; an additional child therefore is a huge financial burden. We have been fighting since 2008 to obtain this policy repeal and get funding into the budget. Every year we either lose the bill or the funding.
Finally, this year, we have a chance to do the right thing for this state's children. We have been working with Senator Holly Mitchell to end the Maximum Family Grant limits via SB 23. But the real chance for success came with budget inclusion spearheaded by Senator de Leon.
Opposition is couched in unacceptable Victorian values. Somehow having children is a blessing for the well-off but evidence of a moral failure in the poor. However, our state's willful decision to create a permanent hardship with all of its inhumane outcomes is the real social evil. It is in our power now to do the right thing, to assure that further harm does not land on the tinyest of our citizens, that they get a better chance to have good futures, no matter how and where those lives began. We can do better for an additional $133 per month - not enough but a help - to make sure they get more of what they need to thrive.
Our budget will be finished and voted upon by June 15, then sent to the Governor for his signature by June 30. We don't have a moment to waste.
First, please thank Senator Mitchell for her advocacy on repealing the MFG. You may write to her via her staff: Elise.Gyore@sen.ca.gov
Then please thank President pro Tem de Leon for placing this money into the upcoming budget. You may write him via his staff: firstname.lastname@example.org
Then please write your own Senator and Assembly Member urging them to keep the funds for covering children born to families on CalWORKs within the proposed budget. You may reach your legislators here.
Finally, please begin advocating for keeping budget funding for chidren on CalWORKs with our Governor, Jerry Brown. California has "line item veto" so he has the option - and has done it before - to remove any specific item he desires. We have to advocate for retaining these funds. Children's lives are at stake. Stress that children brought up in poverty tend to endure in poverty, and failure to improve their lives assures the Governor will be contributing to the creation of a permanent underclass. That is totally immoral and unacceptable.
To email the Governor, you may go to his contact page here
Enter your name, address and other information, and in the "Subject" dropdown, click on "Budget".
If you prefer to FAX a letter from yourself, your congregation, or you social justice group, you may do so at the following FAX numbers:
Capitol office: 916-558-3160. Los Angeles: 213-897-0319 San Francisco: 415-703-2803.
From now through the end of June, please let your voices be heard. The only way to break cycles of enduring poverty is by supporting children and helping them to better lives. This is a key first step. Please take it with us.