The California Partnership, a project of the Center for Community Change, is a statewide coalition of community based organizations that fights against poverty in California. We work together for our common goals by organizing and advocating at the local, state and national levels for the programs and policies that reduce and end poverty.
The overall goals of the California Partnership are: 1) to win concrete gains in the lives of poor Californians; 2) to develop our collective political strength at the state level; 3) to strengthen organizations fighting crucial battles in their own communities; and 4) to strengthen California’s role in the national debate around poverty issues.
The California Partnership currently has over 120 member organizations. We are organized into five active chapters, in the Bay Area (San Francisco, Alameda and Contra Costa), Fresno, Los Angeles, San Bernadino and San Diego. We have additional members in San Jose, the Central Coast, other portions of the Central Valley, and the Sacramento valley.
The California Partnership is governed by a Coordinating Committee of member organizations from around the state that represent the chapters and at-large membership. This ensures that our priorities and programs are a reflection of the needs of the membership. Click here to see our coordinating committee.
The building blocks of our coalition came together in 2000, out of grave concern about TANF reauthorization, especially in the context of a broad movement against poverty. As we continued to work together, we realized that in addition to federal issues, important policy and budget decisions were being made on the statewide level that deeply affect our members’ lives. Given this history, our advocacy, organizing, and education efforts focus on the issues that affect families that have been or are on welfare-that is, lowest income working families. Our recent accomplishments include:
- In June 2007, California Partnership leaders met with California
Secretary of Health& Human Services Kim Belshe and her staff to begin a dialouge on how to improve public assistance and health programs for low-icnome people.
- In May 2007, California Partnership held its leadership training and
action days in Sacramento, with 100 of its leaders attending. Leaders visited 35 legislative offices in one morning, and members were profiled on ABC's evening news.
- In 2006, California Partnership scored wins during the state budget process on two priority issues. First, CAP persuaded the California legislature to pass a $100 million increase for CalWORKs (TANF) families. This victory will ensure that California's poorest CalWORKs families will receive increased services for employment, education and supportive services. CAP's second victory was restoring the state cost-of-living adjustment for SSI recipients, ensuring a basic floor income for elderly and disabled Californians.
- In 2006, CAP registered over 3,000 new voters and made over 15,000 get-out-the-vote contacts. We also co-published and distributed a statewide Voter Guide in six languages with the Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Collaborative.
While each year the California Partnership focuses on specific legislative and budget objectives, we are also engaged in a long term process of strategically expanding our network and strengthening our member organizations. We therefore invest significant time and resources into education and training of our member organizations and into seeking additional partners in our work, especially in underserved areas of the state.