Last week’s victory to raise the minimum wage in California to $15 an hour was a significant step forward to lift many working families out of poverty.
 
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Dear Child Advocate,

Last week’s victory to raise the minimum wage in California to $15 an hour was a significant step forward to lift many working families out of poverty. The victory is also a lesson in the power of movements driven by a righteous goal of social justice. In 2012, when workers and activists kicked off the “Fight for 15” movement, many dismissed the goal of a $15 wage as unrealistic and unachievable. But the movement continued across the nation led by courageous home-care workers, fast-food workers and allies- and it gained steam with local victories to raise the wage in San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. Cheers of “Si Se Puede” broke out as Governor Brown signed the bill to raise the wage to $15 an hour by 2022.

The movement for economic justice in California must continue – with one ambitious goal achieved, let’s set our sights on another: ending child poverty. The critics will again say the goal is unrealistic and unachievable, but we know better – research shows how we can end child poverty by investing in policies that are proven to work. The stakes are high. 1 in 4 California children grow up poor – greatly undermining their future.

California is taking steps in the right direction. Last month, an Assembly budget subcommittee took action to repeal the Maximum Family Grant rule in CalWORKs, which drives families with newborns deeper into poverty by denying them additional cash aid, and yesterday, the Senate Public Safety Committee voted in favor of Senate Bill 882 by Senator Hertzberg to end the criminalization of youth for riding transit without fare – an unfair punishment for the “crime” of poverty. Today, the Assembly Education Committee will vote on our sponsored bill to guarantee that low-income students have transportation to school – Assembly Bill 1572 by Assemblymember Campos.

But ambitious movements can only be successful when we all stand together – so I urge you to join us and take action today to urge our state lawmakers to #EndChildPoverty and level the playing field for California’s children.

Onward,
 
 
Alex M. Johnson
Executive Director
Children's Defense Fund - California
 
 
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Recently, I joined hundreds of arts advocates at Los Angeles City Hall as a guest speaker for ArtsDay, part of an annual celebration of Arts Week 2016 focused on continuing and expanding investment in the arts. This collaborative effort is led by Arts for LA and Councilman Mitch O’Farrell with support from both the City and County of Los Angeles. [...]
 
 
 
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