California Needs a Family Recovery Budget


Posted on 28 April 2010

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By Nancy Berlin

On April 27th, California Partnership will kicked-off the first of a series of advocacy days in the Capitol. The delegation will include community members throughout the state demanding state legislators pass a Family Recovery Budget for California; one that creates and maintains jobs, provides a vital safety net for where there are no jobs, pursues targeted revenues to help our economy and families, and brings home Federal funds for the relief of California’s struggling families.  

Among those who’ll be joining us this year will be Father Patrick Guillen, who’s travelling to Sacramento from San Bernardino to remind his legislator and the Governor that California’s most vulnerable citizens, including seniors, children and people with disabilities, have much to lose under the Governor’s proposed budget. Father Guillen is making the 500 mile trip to the Capitol to call on state leaders to pass a budget that not only preserves the state’s much needed safety net, but also increases employment opportunities and preserves jobs by including smart revenues to balance the budget.  

California Partnership will go to Sacramento representing more than 120 community-based organizations from seven different and unique regions throughout the state. Together, 150 community leaders from Chico to San Diego will visit over 40 legislators asking them to stand up for the needs of their constituents and end backroom deals in the budget process.   

Year after year, it’s been shown that the dark, closeted and secretive budget process has yielded particularly harmful consequences for the state’s most vulnerable populations. This time around, we must fight to open and shed light on the process, push back, and take a stand against backroom deal making which, time and again, reveals itself as the facilitator of massive corporate giveaways – in turn leading to billions in spending cuts to critical health and human services.  

Our objective in going to Sacramento is founded in our belief that California needs a budget that reflects our values. If we value healthcare, the elderly, and our future generations, then we must invest in those values, instead of decimating the state’s safety net. As part of the statewide Health and Human Services Network, we share a common vision of a California united in its support for a Family Recovery Budget to help our families, our communities and our state thrive and prosper now and in the future.   

We’re asking state leaders to resist the Governor’s call to solve the state budget deficit through cuts only; reform the process to ensure that all budget negotiations are transparent and open to public and legislative scrutiny; and finally, require targeted revenue solutions to be part of the problem.  

This year’s budget is about tough choices. Are we going to invest in our workers and revive our economy; or hand-out billions in corporate tax giveaways? Are we going provide a safety net that helps California’s struggling families get back on their feet when they’re out of work; or continue to remain the only state in Union with oil reserves that doesn’t tax production?

There are other choices to be made, and finding revenue to invest in the infrastructure of our state’s safety-net programs is critical if we’re to rebuild California and protect the most vulnerable populations in our state.  

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Nancy Berlin is Director of California Partnership. California Partnership is a statewide coalition of community-based groups, organizing and advocating for the programs and policies that reduce and end poverty. We are spear-heading campaigns to develop electoral power in low-income communities, give a voice to local communities in creating a more just state budget and building a movement for healthcare for everyone. For more information, please visit www.california-partnership.org