As California and our country move forward to tackle the challenges facing our communities and make life better for our families and neighbors, the California Budget & Policy Center continues our commitment to advancing public policies that improve the lives of Californians who have been blocked from sharing in the state’s prosperity. We recognize a healthy and vibrant democracy and economy, and brighter California is possible when we remove the policy barriers blocking Californians in low- and middle-income households, as well as Asian, Black, Latinx, and Pacific-Islander Californians and other Californians of color from fully participating in the state’s economic, social, and political life.
Californians are casting their votes and making important choices about revenue for local communities, ending the ban on affirmative action, restoring justice for families and selecting our next elected leaders. The ballot decisions and questions come down to: What California do we want for our families and communities? For California women the stakes are particularly high. Women, especially Black, Latinx and Native American women, make significant contributions to the social and economic well-being of our communities, the state’s economy and our own households. Yet, our own well-being is suffering.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing recession have forced Californians and San Diegans to grapple with a new reality. Daily ways of life – sending kids off to school, being able to safely go to work, and seeing and caring for aging family members – all looks very different these days. All this change also brings opportunities to make choices about how we govern our schools, create better access to health, housing, and child care, who we elect to represent us at City Hall and in Sacramento, and how we raise revenue to better support our communities. We are coming together to make these decisions on our ballots ahead of the Nov. 3 election.
It’s October 15 and still Congress and the Trump Administration haven’t provided the $14 billion California leaders planned for in the 2020–21 state budget agreement in order to roll back “trigger cuts” — otherwise known as spending that won’t happen on K-12 education, the California State University and University of California systems, housing production, and other services for Californians. This means that students, families, and individuals won’t have the supports and resources needed to weather the COVID-19 health and economic crisis safely.
While Congressional leaders have allowed an expansion of federal unemployment benefits to expire and failed to extend a ban on evictions for most federally subsidized rental housing, millions of Californians and Americans struggled again to pay rent, buy food for their families, and avoid serious illness. For many out-of-work Californians — particularly Black, Latinx, and other Californians of color — the situation grows worse by the day. Forced out of their homes and into crowded housing with family or friends, skipping car payments, running up credit card debt to cover basic expenses. And all while the risk of the coronavirus sickening them or family members looms overhead.