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Monthly Newsletter


Dear Child Advocate,

Tomorrow, Governor Brown will release his “May Revise” budget proposal to outline his spending priorities, kicking off a final month of deliberation with the Legislature to develop a final 2017-18 budget for California. This spring, our team has been working to ensure the needs of our youth, particularly poor children and children of color, are at the heart of the discussions about how California invests its resources. With the recent House passage of the a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act and decimate the Medicaid program, it is more important than ever that California hold true to its values and invest in our vulnerable children and communities.

We believe the state should invest in health care, education, and a strong social safety net to help create a level playing field for all children. At the same time, resources should be shifted away from the court and law enforcement, and towards prevention, youth development and other essential supports that strengthen youth, families, and whole communities.

As the state budget is finalized in the next month, we will need your voices to join us in urging the Governor and the Legislature to make sure children and youth are a top priority. We’ll be advocating for investments to reduce poverty by expanding the California Earned Income Tax Credit, improve the Medi-Cal program that serves half of California children, and restore and strengthen the California Gang Reduction, Intervention & Prevention Program (CalGRIP) to prevent youth violence.

Please visit our Children’s State Budget Watch webpage to learn more and take action.

In Solidarity,


Featured Updates


Character, Education, and Strength

All around the country recently graduated high school seniors are gearing up to make the exciting transition to their new lives as college freshman. And we couldn't be more proud to announce that, thanks to your generous support, our 2016 Beat the Odds® scholars will be participating in this important milestone - and attending some of the greatest colleges and universities in the nation, including Harvard, Columbia, and UCLA.

Our Beat the Odds scholars are the embodiment of dedication, determination, and resilience. Each one of these incredible students has achieved academic excellence and personal success in the face of childhoods marred by poverty, abandonment, abuse, neglect, and loss.


Gearing up for the summer

It’s that time again. Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools® sites in California will begin enrolling this month. CDF Freedom Schools are child-centered programs that seek to build strong, literate, and confident children prepared to make a difference in themselves, their families, communities, nation and the world. The program is free to student scholars and families and endeavors to help close a persistent achievement gap and reduce summer learning loss.


A Safe and Free Way to School

We are working again this year on a bill to guarantee free transportation to school for K-12 students who attend Title I schools, Assembly Bill 1469 by Assemblymember Tim Grayson. On April 26, the bill was passed out of the Assembly Education Committee, after legislators heard powerful testimony from Janae Wheeler, a youth leader with Youth Justice Coalition, one of the bill co-sponsors.


Children's Bill Watch

All six bills that Children’s Defense Fund-California is sponsoring this year to create systems change for our children and youth have passed their first policy committees. Learn more about our legislative agenda and how you can get involved on our Children’s Bill Watch.


Support Our Work


You Can 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.


In the Spotlight


Raising Confident, Successful Adults

Denise knows that it takes a village and that is why she participates in the Children's Defense Fund Parent Engagement Institute, a pilot program spearheaded by CDF-CA in partnership with Success In Challenges in Long Beach. The skills and tools she gains through the Institute she shares with her daughter and son-in-law. The Institute brings parents of CDF Freedom Schools' scholars and others together to introduce an asset-based and culturally rich curriculum that uses traditional methods of learning, teaching and parent-to-child bonding through storytelling, reading together and the practice of language in the midst of activity as ways parents can support and enhance childrens' learning experience at home.


From Our Blog


Published on May 3, 2017 by Alison Buist

Congress must act to save the Children's Health Insurance Program

For two decades, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has provided affordable, comprehensive health coverage to children in low- and moderate-income working families.  You may not hear much about CHIP in California because since 2013, children eligible for CHIP in our state have been part of our Medicaid program, known as Medi-Cal.  Last year the CHIP portion of Medi-Cal provided health coverage for more than 2 million children and pregnant women in California - and nationally CHIP served almost 9 million children - enabling them to access child-appropriate health care in a timely way so they can be healthy and ready to learn.


News Roundup


Statement from Children's Defense Fund–California on the American Health Care Act Vote

Today, House Republican leaders bullied their way to a vote on a bill that will reverse half a century of progress in covering children and families while giving a massive tax cut to America's wealthiest individuals and corporations. By passing the American Health Care Act that destroys Medicaid's guarantee of health coverage for poor and disabled children, including more than half of all children in California, we will turn the clock back to the bad old days of insurance discrimination, debt, and even death. [...]

May 5, 2017

In-Person Visits, New Underwear, More Counseling: Key Changes Sought in California Juvenile Detention

These are some of the concerns that advocates and formerly incarcerated youth are pushing for as California considers revisions to its regulations for its state and county detention facilities, which had a combined average [...]

From the JJIE by Julio Moran
May 4, 2017

This 17-Year-Old Mexican-American Student Was Accepted to 18 Prestigious Universities

When next fall rolls around, José Alberto Aceves Salvador will begin his undergraduate career. But whether that's as a student at Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, Yale, MIT, UC Berkeley, UCLA, or any of the other 11 schools [...]

May 3, 2017

Hijo de inmigrantes mexicanos es aceptado en 18 universidades de EEUU

José Alberto Aceves Salvador no solo se va a graduar de la secundaria como el primero de su clase sino con el orgullo de haber sido aceptado en siete de las ocho más prestigiosas universidades de Estados Unidos [...]

Apr 29, 2017

UCLA researchers seek juvenile justice alternatives for children under 12

Although Laura Abrams and Dr. Elizabeth Barnert come from opposite ends of the UCLA campus, their work in their respective academic professions meets at the intersection of health and juvenile justice. [...]

Apr 11, 2017

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