Last week, not only did California voters come out in droves, we voted for what is right. We voted against racism, intolerance, sexism and xenophobia. Instead, we voted for acceptance, equal opportunity, and justice for all.
Trouble seeing something? View this message online

monthly newsletter

Dear Child Advocate,

As the clouds begin to shift, we must look to the light.

Last week, not only did California voters come out in droves, we voted for what is right. We voted against racism, intolerance, sexism and xenophobia. Instead, we voted for acceptance, equal opportunity, and justice for all.

These victories should not be overlooked because the propositions we supported will improve the lives of children and families across California. Propositions approved last week will help more families with children in Los Angeles and Solano counties stay off the streets and find affordable housing; give more children in Los Angeles County access to nearby parks and open spaces; and bring more community programs to residents in Oakland and Albany.

We even went a step further and embraced diversity by approving a proposal that authorizes schools to implement dual language immersion programs for both English and non-English speakers. And we voted to protect our children by approving a proposition that requires youth to have a hearing in juvenile court to determine whether they should be prosecuted and sentenced as adults, rather than allowing prosecutors to make that decision.

In times like these, we cannot dwell on what we feel we’ve lost. We must redirect our anger and shock into organized action. We must recommit ourselves to the greater good. And we must continue to fight for what is right.

Alex M. Johnson
Executive Director | Children's Defense Fund - California

top stories

Thank You for Standing Up for Children

Children’s Defense Fund – California released their 2016 Voter Guide last month urging people to be a voice for those who could not cast votes on Nov. 8. CDF-CA endorsed the ballot measures that would improve the lives of all children, including four statewide measures, two in Los Angeles, and four others in the Bay Area.

Those that passed include: Prop 55: Children’s Education and Health Care Protection Act; Prop 56: California Healthcare, Research and Prevention Tobacco Tax Act; Prop 57: Public Safety and Rehabilitation Act; Measure HHH: End Homelessness in L.A.; and Oakland Measure HH, San Francisco Measure V and Albany Measure 01 – Cities vs. Big Soda.
read more

Hitting the Pavement for School Climate

Last month, dozens of youth and adults walked the streets of Long Beach as a part of the Every Student Matters Campaign Civic Engagement Celebration. Prior to precinct walking, Children’s Defense Fund – California and Public Counsel gave community members an early preview of their report on racial justice and equity in Long Beach Schools.

The report, Untold Stories Behind One of America’s Best Urban School Districts, explores how students, especially students of color and high-need students — low-income, English Learner, special education, and foster youth — have been impacted in recent years by exclusionary school climate practices. Co-author and CDF-CA Senior Policy Associate Angelica Salazar said the report seeks to encourage more district-community collaboration that supports student learning and a universal pathway to college and career for LBUSD students—particularly high-need students. 
read more

You Can Make a Difference

Children’s Defense Fund-California is effective in large part because of the commitment and energy of our dedicated partners and individual supporters. Please show your commitment to our nation’s children, our future, by making a donation to support our efforts.
Donate

featured updates

Introducing the CDF-CA Leadership Council

Last month, we officially launched the Children’s Defense Fund – California’s Leadership Council. At their first meeting, members heard an overview of some of our programs as well as funding sources. Through attendance and participation in quarterly meetings, selected activities throughout the year, and financial support, the 12 leadership council members will affirm their commitment to and support of CDF-CA and its mission to protect and advance the well-being of the most vulnerable children in California.
read more

Prepping for the Big Day

Our five 2016 scholarship honorees are readying for one of their biggest evenings when they will be publicly recognized in front of family, friends, and celebrities alike for overcoming the obstacles in their lives and beating the odds.For the past several months, the students have been preparing their speeches and filming their personal stories to be debuted Dec. 1 at the 2016 Beat the Odds® Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. This year’s honorees are: Jose Aceves, Alexandra Flores, Cierra Gunderson, Destiny Novillo, and Florencia Valenzuela.
read more

CDF Freedom Schools® Parent Engagement Institute Pilot

Children’s Defense Fund - California will be launching the CDF Freedom Schools® Parent Engagement Institute Pilot Program that will help parents develop greater capacity to support their children’s academic development, build stronger communication and interaction, and strengthen their leadership skills to effectively engage in their scholars' education. Through a partnership with Read Lead Inc. and Success in Challenges, we are seeking interested parents that will commit to participating in a series of workshops and activities that will take place over a six-month span.
read more

Closing the Opportunity Gap

The 2016 National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths® Celebration, “Children of Promise: Closing Opportunity Gaps” was held October 21-23 and focused on closing opportunity gaps due to poverty and lack of access to high-quality early childhood development and a high-quality education so that every child can reach their God-given potential. Thousands of churches, synagogues, mosques, temples and other faith communities across the country joined in this celebration to engage people of faith in improving the lives of children and their families.
Read more

Upcoming Events

You are cordially invited to join Children's Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman and Los Angeles's finest for the 26th Annual Beat the Odds Awards Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills. The purpose of the gala is to recognize and commemorate the strength and resilience that our honorees have demonstrated both inside and outside of the classroom. We also want to remind celebrities, public officials and change-makers in Los Angeles about the tremendous need in their communities and to inspire them to take action.
learn more

in the spotlight

DAVID SANCHEZ
2015 Beat the Odds Scholarship Recipient
" The most difficult part of the transition to college is the feeling of not understanding everything after the first attempt. In high school, I had to study a far much less amount of time than I have to now. I have been trying to get accustomed to the amount of reading I have to do because there is only a fraction of the material covered during lectures, so most of the course I have to teach myself."
Full interview

recent publications

Untold Stories Behind One of America's Best Urban School Districts
Children's Defense Fund - California & Public Council
Untold Stories Behind One of America's Best Urban School Districts focuses on recent education equity and racial justice trends in LBUSD related to school climate. The report explores how students, especially students of color and high-need students — low-income, English Learner, special education, and foster youth — have been impacted in recent years by exclusionary school climate practices. The findings and recommendations in this report seek to encourage more district-community collaboration that supports student learning and a universal pathway to college and career for LBUSD students—particularly high-need students. Read the report
Ending Child Poverty Now: Local Approaches for California
Children's Defense Fund - California
Ending Child Poverty Now: Local Approaches to California outlines six strategic priorities that cities and counties should consider when addressing child poverty. These recommendations were developed after in-depth interviews and discussions with local leaders and policy experts between June and September 2016, in addition to a review of the literature. While this report does not represent an exhaustive evaluation of the many effective local strategies that invest in poor children and families, each strategic priority includes local highlights of significant promising practices for city and county leaders to consider. Read the report

news roundup

Oct 28, 2016 | WitnessLA

Long Beach is a Good School District with Some Very Unhealthy & Unequal Discipline Policies, Says a New Report

The Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) is the third largest school district in California. It manages a budget of over $1 billion and is given the task of molding the minds of a diverse group of almost 78,000 students every year.

LBUSD also has a reputation for being an unusually outstanding school district when it comes to academics.

In 2014, seven of the district’s schools were named for excellence on an annual list released by The Washington Post that ranks the nation’s most challenging high schools. Around that same time, a national nonprofit called Battelle for Kids named LBUSD among five of the world’s highest performing school systems in their Global Education Study. But, according to a report released this week by the Children’s Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) and the pro-bono law firm, Public Counsel, this marvelous Long Beach school district may not be, in fact, doing right by all its kids, particularly when it comes to discipline practices and startlingly unequal sets of campus environments.
read more
Oct 27, 2016 | Long Beach Post

Study Shows Racial Discipline Gap Despite Shrinking Suspension Rates at LBUSD Schools

A new report published this week focusing on racial justice and educational equity within the Long Beach Unified School District (LBUSD) revealed that the district, like countless others in the United States, dishes out punishment disproportionately to minority students, with black students facing the biggest gaps in terms of school discipline. Read more ...
Oct 26, 2016 | 89.3 KPCC

Long Beach schools need to overhaul discipline policies, report says

As many large public school districts in California overhaul their student discipline policies with the aim of eliminating racial disparities, Long Beach Unified School District may be falling behind. That's according to a new report by the Children’s Defense Fund – California and Public Counsel, which found that disparities in the number of suspensions issued to black and white students in Long Beach is increasing.   Read more ...
© 2016 Children's Defense Fund - California. All rights Reserved
Unsubscribe / Subscribe

powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software