Today’s budget agreement provides an opportunity for the nine million Californians who find it difficult to afford housing, food, and the basic necessities needed to survive.  While there is still much work to be done, Governor Jerry Brown, the California legislature and community organizations like the United Ways of California network have embarked on an ambitious plan to reverse some of the damage done during the Great Recession.

Creating a California state Earned Income Tax Credit for low and moderate income workers will provide some much needed relief for working families by helping them secure an apartment or repair a car, and spur demand for goods and services by increasing purchasing power for tax filers in local economies that need it most.

In addition, the key investments in health care will expand access to care, while in the long-term reduce health care costs for state and local taxpayers by decreasing the use of emergency room visits for minor health problems and encouraging treatment of conditions before they become severe.

Nonprofits have an important role to play in the policy discussion as they are on the front lines daily and see the affect of decisions in Sacramento on their communities. United Way approaches this work in a strongly non-partisan manner, bringing research, facts and stories about communities to all policymakers. But none of this can be accomplished without the strong support of our network and the leadership from Governor Brown and our California state leaders.