United Ways of California Releases New Financial Stability Report on California Households
July 14, 2015
Los Angeles—CA. Almost 1 in 3 California households struggle each month to meet their basic needs, according to a report released today by United Ways of California.
The report, Struggling to Get By: The Real Cost Measure in California 2015, finds that 3.2 million California households do not earn enough income to account for the types of expenses—food, rent, health care—that are essential to maintain even an adequate level of economic security. Not only do these households not have enough money to save for the future or afford “luxuries” like eating out, but they are forced to confront tradeoffs each month about whether to forgo necessities like child care or doctor’s appointments in order to make ends meet.
Struggling to Get By introduces the Real Cost Measure, a new tool that provides a more realistic picture of poverty than the Federal Poverty Line. The Real Cost Measure creates “basic needs” budgets for households, using actual costs for food, housing, transportation, health care, childcare, and taxes throughout California.
Among the questions Struggling to Get By seeks to answer are: What is the true rate of financially challenged households? How many are led by working adults? What do we know about these households? What do their family configurations look like? What regions and communities struggle more than others? What do income challenges look like across race, ethnicity and gender boundaries and more.
Some of the key findings from Struggling to Get By include:
California’s New Asset Building Tools: Putting the Secure Choice Retirement Plan and the New State EITC to Work
Join asset building practitioners, advocates and funders for a conference on helping families and individuals build assets and plan for the future through two new programs. California Treasurer John Chiang and Controller Betty Yee will join other special guests on Tuesday, December 1 to discuss the laws, and what is necessary for successful implementations. Agenda items include:
Children's Health Advocates Hail California's Budget as a Historic Leap Toward Health Coverage for All Children
June 19, 2015
Sacramento, CA – Children’s health advocates commended state legislators and Governor Jerry Brown for crafting a budget that addresses key children’s health priorities. The budget agreement includes $40 million in 2015-16 to expand access to Medi-Cal coverage to all income-eligible children, regardless of immigration status.
“Thanks to leaders in California’s Legislature and Governor Brown, more than 170,000 undocumented children will get access to health coverage, and the preventive care they need to grow up healthy and lead productive lives,” said Wendy Lazarus, Founder and Co-President of The Children’s Partnership. “This budget is a tremendous step toward providing coverage to every California child. When we invest in our hardworking families and their children, we will see substantial and lasting impacts that benefit all Californians.”
UWCA Applauds Bi-Partisan Vote on SB 4 - Health for All
June 2, 2015
(Sacramento, CA) - Pete Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California released the following statement following Senate passage of SB4 (Lara) - Health for All:
"United Ways of California applauds the historic, bi-partisan vote in the Senate this morning to pass SB4 (Lara) Health for All Act with a 28-11 vote. We thank the Senate who set aside partisan politics to lead the way in making all Californians healthy. For many years, United Ways of California and our member United Ways have worked to assure coverage for all California children—which means, all children, regardless of immigration status—and this bill brings our goal within reach. SB4 would not only create access for all children in California to grow up healthy and ready for life, but set the foundation for all workers and families to be insured as well.
Leaving hundreds of thousands of workers, students, and family members without coverage for preventable ailments does not protect our public health, nor does it reflect our values as Californians.
SB 4 is a more efficient use of taxpayers’ dollars that encourages preventive care and treatment of conditions before they become severe. SB 4 would ensure that the public health and welfare of all Californians is more secure. Today’s vote is a great start and we hope the Assembly and Governor will follow suit and not only support this bill but the $40 million in the Senate budget proposal to expand access to preventive care for all Californians.”
United Ways of California improves health, education and financial stability results for low-income California families by coordinating the statewide advocacy and community impact work of 34 California United Ways.
Peter Manzo, President & CEO
Judy Darnell, Vice President of Public Policy
Governor’s Budget Proposal Good For Education, But Doesn’t Do Enough To Help Low-Income Families
January 9, 2015
Los Angeles, CA—Below is a statement from Peter Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California, regarding the Governor’s 2015-16 proposed budget release:
California’s finances continue to stabilize year after year under Governor Brown’s leadership. However, with a general fund proposal of $113.3 billion, the investment in our human capital continues to be insufficient to address the needs of children, families and individuals across California. While the Governor’s proposed budget invests in K-14 education, we are disappointed to not see similar investments in health and human services that would help low-income families achieve good health and financial self-sufficiency in order to increase their opportunities.
Brown Administration Calls For Extension Of Successful Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
November 14, 2014
SACRAMENTO, CA—Children’s health advocates in California are praising the Brown Administration for joining the call on Congress to take quick action to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which expires in September 2015. In a letter dated October 30th, California Secretary of Health and Human Services Diana Dooley on behalf of the Brown Administration responded to an inquiry from Congressional leaders about the importance of CHIP by “strongly encourage[ing] Congress to act early and extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).”
Governor Brown’s Earned Income Tax Credit Proposal is Important Step toward Helping Low Income Families, but May Revision Fails to Make Needed Investments in Quality Early Education and Health Care
May 14, 2015
(Sacramento, CA) - Pete Manzo, President and CEO of United Ways of California released the following statement on Governor Brown’s May Revision to his proposed California’s 2015-16 state budget:
“Our United Way network enthusiastically applauds the Governor for creating a refundable state Earned Income Tax Credit, joining 25 other states in helping low income working Californians to support their families. The proposed credit will benefit an estimated 825,000 families and 2 million individuals, a great start that we hope we can build on to reduce the high rate of poverty in California.”
While we are pleased to see the Governor’s commitment to fund a state Earned Income Tax Credit, we are also deeply disappointed in the May Revision’s failure to increase investments in much needed high-quality early childhood education, child care and health care.
Senate on Right Path with Early Ed Investment
The following op-ed by California United Way leaders was published in the Santa Cruz Sentinal on May 31, 2014.
A state Senate proposal to make a major investment in high-quality early learning for low-income children is an opportunity to make California a place where all kids get a fair start. The Senate proposal calls for establishment of the California Pre-kindergarten Program, a multi-year reinvestment package in California's early learning systems. It would provide access for 234,000 low-income 4-year-olds to high-quality pre-K and open channels for younger kids as well.
This would have a profound impact on the future for so many low-income children and their families. United Way's vision is a caring, engaged and vibrant community where families and individuals achieve their full potential through education, health and financial stability. Over the years, we have learned that to reach that goal, children must start school prepared to learn. But for far too many children in our community, that isn't yet possible.
Governor’s May Budget Revision Continues to Invest in K-12 Education while Missing an Opportunity to Improve Access to Health Care and Restore Cuts to Vital Services that Worked
May 14, 2014
Sacramento, CA—While the Governor’s May Budget Revision continues investment in K-12 education, similar investments in health programs and initiatives that help families achieve financial self-sufficiency are needed to strengthen opportunities for low-income families. California’s United Ways work throughout the state to improve health, education, and financial stability in our communities, and we know that success in any one of these areas is affected by progress in the others. United Ways of California (UWCA) urges the Governor and legislature to work together through the budget process to restore health and human services programs that are crucial to achieve these results.
UWCA applauds the Governor for his continued commitment to our schools on maintaining the core priorities outlined in his Budget for K-12 schools paying down the “Wall of Debt” and investing significantly in the new Local Control Funding Formula. We support the Governor’s leadership to create a continuous appropriation for LCFF, ensuring that the formula continues to be implemented on schedule in future years. UWCA also deeply appreciates his proposed investment of $26.7 million for the K-12 High Speed Network to provide technical assistance and grants to local educational agencies; this is a good start on addressing the technology requirements necessary for successful Common Core implementation.
Governor's Budget Proposal is a Good Start, But Doesn't Do Enough to Help Low-Income Families
January 9, 2014
Los Angeles, CA — California’s finances are more solid than they have been for several years, thanks in no small part to Governor Brown’s leadership. While the Governor’s proposed budget increases investment in K-12 education, similar investments in health programs and initiatives that help families achieve financial self-sufficiency are needed to strengthen opportunities for low-income families, which are essential to California’s overall competitiveness and well being. California’s United Ways work throughout the state to improve health, education, and financial stability in our communities, and we know that success in any one of these areas is affected by progress in the others. United Ways of California (UWCA) urges the Governor and legislature to work together through the budget process to restore health and human services programs that are crucial to achieve these results.
UWCA applauds the Governor for his continued commitment to our schools evidenced by his proposal to provide $10 billion in 2014, including $4.5 billion toward the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), enough to eliminate more than 28 percent of the remaining funding gap. We support the Governor’s legislative proposal to create a continuous appropriation for LCFF, ensuring that the formula continues to be implemented on schedule in future years. UWCA also deeply appreciates his proposed investment in the state’s higher education system to maintain the quality and affordability of one of California’s greatest strengths.
United Ways of California is Proud to Partner with Covered California on Outreach and Education
May 14, 2013
Los Angeles, CA—United Ways of California (UWCA) issued the following statement today in response to being named one of the first recipients of Covered California’s Outreach and Education Grant Program.
United Ways of California is delighted to be named a recipient of Covered California’s Outreach and Education Grants. We look forward to working with Covered California to provide Californians with the information they need about the health coverage options available to them and connecting them to resources to enroll.
As part of this Outreach and Education grant, United Ways of California, in partnership with local United Ways, seeks to work with: 1) our business and workplace partners to reach the employees who due to their status as part-time, contract or seasonal employees are not eligible for employer sponsored insurance; 2) educational institutions including universities, community colleges, and technical schools; and 3) other United Way initiatives and programs such as the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) programs, health fairs in the community and on campuses. All strategies will reach eligible Californians over 138% of the federal poverty line.
United Ways of California Reacts to Governor Brown's Budget Proposal
January 10, 2013
Los Angeles, CA –United Ways of California (UWCA) issued the following statement today relating to children’s health, education and family financial stability in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s budget proposal. The Governor’s proposed 2013-2014 budget contains a number of major changes that will affect children and families.
After several years of harsh budgets that imposed significant cuts to the programs that families rely on, UWCA is pleased to see that the Governor’s proposed budget appears to usher in an era of reinvesting in California’s future. While this budget is by no means ideal for California’s most vulnerable populations, it inspires more hope than budgets in recent years, and smartly begins to rebuild our damaged health, education, and human services budgets.
United Ways of California Congratulates Governor Jerry Brown on Passage of Proposition 30
November 7, 2012
California Voters have responded to Governor Brown’s call for a Temporary Tax Hike to Save Schools
South Pasadena, CA – With the passage of Proposition 30 in the November 6 Presidential election, California will prevent $5.3 billion in trigger cuts to K-12 schools and $500 million in cuts to California’s public universities. Peter Manzo, President & CEO of United Ways of California stated “California has cut or deferred $20 billion from our schools and colleges in the past four years, despite having the ninth largest economy in the world. With the passage of Proposition 30, schools will be spared from losing as much as a month of school days and avoid massive cuts to educational programs our children need to succeed.”
United Ways of California Commends Supreme Court Decision on Affordable Care Act
June 27, 2012
United Ways of California hails the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act as good news for millions of California children, families, and businesses who will benefit from many of the provisions of this health care legislation, some of which are already helping more children and individuals access health care. UWCA applauds the work that California’s Health Benefit Exchange and other agencies have done to date in California to implement this important law and calls on California policymakers to continue the state’s substantial progress toward implementation and ultimately, comprehensive, affordable health coverage for every child in the state.
United Ways of California Reacts to Governor Brown's May Revise Budget Proposal
Major Changes to Health and Human Services Could Harm Children and Families
May 14, 2012
Los Angeles, CA
United Ways of California issued the following statement May 14, 2012 relating to children’s health, education and family financial stability in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s May Revise budget proposal. The Governor’s revised budget contains an alarming number of major changes that will affect children and families. On behalf of United Ways of California, Pete Manzo, President & CEO, said:
"This revised budget calls the question of what kind of California we all want to live in - do we believe we can again provide first-class educational opportunities, comprehensive health coverage for children and individuals, effective assistance to parents struggling to support their families, and help our state be more competitive in a global economy?
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