It will take a lot of hard work and advocacy to overcome the status quo to make these policy changes, but we know that we must do it for our children
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MONTHLY NEWSLETTER

Dear Child Advocate,

In light of continuing threat to children, families and communities at the federal level, CDF-CA is committed to being a relentless advocate for California children in Washington D.C., in the state Capitol and across the state. On Monday, the House of Representatives introduced a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and dismantle Medicaid’s 50-year guarantee of affordable, comprehensive health coverage to poor and low-income children and children with disabilities. Votes on the bill will happen as soon as this week, and we will keep you updated on how you can join the fight to ensure Congress does not pass a law that would harm millions of children and families.

At the state level, we continue to pursue opportunities to strengthen protections for our children and families. This year, we are sponsoring a number of bills and budget items to level the playing field for children – including bills to prevent criminal prosecution of children under age 12, guarantee low-income children have transportation to school, end suspensions for "willful defiance" for students in all grades, and expand the state Earned Income Tax Credit to reach more working poor families.

It will take a lot of hard work and advocacy to overcome the status quo to make these policy changes. We invite you to learn more about these bills on our Children's Bill Watch and join us in urging state legislators to support them. In these times, it's more important than ever that California continue to be a leader in creating an inclusive and just state that protects and supports all children.

Thank you,

Patricia Soung
Interim Executive Director | Children's Defense Fund - California

FEATURED UPDATES

Leveling the Playing Field for California Children

California's future prosperity depends on all our children having a fair chance to thrive and succeed. Yet, each year, we lose gifted young people to the vicious cycle of poverty, violence, under-funded schools, and inadequate health care options that too often forces them off the ladder of success and into custody of the juvenile justice system — or worse.

Our 2017 policy agenda, Leveling The Playing Field for California Children, identifies the steps that California lawmakers can take today to ensure that all our children have what they need to realize their potential tomorrow. Grounded in the experiences, voices, and leadership of children, youth, and families most affected by inequities, this policy agenda focuses on policies that lift children out of poverty, provide quality health care to every child, ensure educational equity, and transform the juvenile justice system to focus on prevention and rehabilitation.
read more

Partnering to Save and Strengthen CalGRIP Violence Prevention Funding

CDF-CA’s Youth Justice team is working to build a new coalition of advocacy organizations to ensure that one of the only sources of state-level funding for locally driven violence prevention strategies remains in California's budget for the coming year. The Governor's proposed 2017-18 budget would eliminate roughly $9.2 million per year of CalGRIP (CA Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention) funding for cities to implement evidence-based programs to reduce youth and group-related crime and violence.
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SB 250 Protects Children From Punishment for Unpaid School Meals Fees

Senate Bill 250 by Senator Robert M. Hertzberg would protect children from punishment for their parent’s unpaid school meals debt. We know that it is never ideal for a student to go hungry and try to learn on an empty stomach. Yet, there has been a number of alarming stories over the past several years about students who are forced to skip school lunch and/or given a lesser meal because their parents had unpaid school meal fees.
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SUPPORT OUR WORK

HELP US MAKE A DIFFERENCE
CDF-CA 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 in 2017 and beyond.
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IN THE SPOTLIGHT

LUZ SANCHEZ
Single-mother and Medi-Cal beneficiary
Medi-Cal – California’s Medicaid program serving half of the state’s children – is a lifeline for millions of people across the state. And if changes to Medicaid proposed by Congressional Republicans are implemented, health coverage for 5.2 million California children would be at risk. Among those, are the nine children of Luz Sanchez.

The 46-year-old single mother is scared when she thinks about what losing Medi-Cal could do to her and her family. The security of knowing that her children – ranging in age from 4 to 19 – have access to quality health coverage provides peace of mind.
Her story

UPCOMING EVENTS

Emergency Fight for Our Health Town Hall

Please join us in Berkeley on Sunday, March 12 from 1-3 pm at the Ed Robert’s Campus at Ashby BART for the Emergency Fight for Our Health Town Hall with Representative Barbara Lee. Join families, providers, unions, local mayors and state legislators to learn how you can speak out to save the Affordable Care Act and Medi-Cal for children and families.
RSVP Today

Nominate a Student, Brighten a Future

Attention teachers, counselors, caseworkers, community leaders, and other caring adults: do you know an outstanding Los Angeles high school sophomore who is succeeding inside and outside the classroom in the face of severe obstacles?

From now until March 10, we are accepting your nominations for the Beat the Odds® scholarship program. Now in its 27th year, this annual academic and leadership scholarship provides comprehensive financial, academic, and personal support to students who have overcome adversity to excel in school and as leaders in their communities.
Learn More

NEWS ROUNDUP

Feb 20, 2017 | Juvenile Justice Information Exchange

Listen to Youth Voices to Bring California Facilities Into 21st Century

“I went to the halls at a young age — not too street smart. I came out with a lot more anger at the system due to mistreatment of the youth.” This was one young person’s response to a survey created by a partnership of California youth advocacy organizations — the California Endowment, the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, Children’s Defense Fund-California, the Pacific Juvenile Defender Center and the Youth Justice Coalition — in order to solicit an essential perspective in juvenile justice reform: the voice of formerly incarcerated youth.
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RECENT PUBLICATIONS

Leveling The Playing Field for California's Children

Our 2017 policy agenda, Leveling The Playing Field for California Children, identifies the steps that California lawmakers can take today to ensure that all our children have what they need to realize their potential tomorrow. Grounded in the experiences, voices, and leadership of children, youth, and families most affected by inequities, this policy agenda focuses on policies that lift children out of poverty, provide quality health care to every child, ensure educational equity, and transform the juvenile justice system to focus on prevention and rehabilitation.
read more

A Culture of Care for All: Envisioning the LA Model

The juvenile justice system in Los Angeles County has been broken for too long. A Culture of Care for All: Envisioning the LA Model describes a new approach for treating youth who are incarcerated. This report, written by Hailly T.N. Korman (Bellwether Education Partners) and Carly B. Dierkhising (California State University – Los Angeles) captures nearly two years of thought and collaboration by more than 100 stakeholders coordinated by CDF-CA to articulate a shared vision of a new model of juvenile justice in Los Angeles, known as the LA Model.
read more

In Other Words: Stories from Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® Sites in California

CDF Freedom Schools offer a powerful educational experience where students of color, primarily African-American and Latino, engage in culturally competent instruction with a goal of building strong, literate, and confidant children prepared to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, nation and the world. This new book of stories seeks to capture the uniqueness and transformative power of California CDF Freedom Schools through those who live it – the scholars, servant leader interns, trainers, parents, and administrators.
read more
© 2016 Children's Defense Fund - California. All rights Reserved
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