California Partnership

Winter 2007 Newsletter The California Partnership is a statewide coalition of community based organizations that fights 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.

Warm Winter Greetings from the California Partnership!

The cold winter chill you've been feeling this season has less to do with Mother Nature than it has to do with the nature of our governor. This year, the governor has proposed a not-so-clear healthcare plan, under the pretense of "Universal Healthcare". We're worried about who is covered and who won't be under this plan and even more concerned about who will pay for it. The governor is also proposing drastic cuts to CalWORKs for the 2007-2008 budget, cuts that we find are cruel and unnecessary for they will put our children at risk, all 900,000 of them!

And that's not the only budget that has deep consequences for poor individuals and families. The President's FY 2008 budget threatens to make tax cuts permanent, which, in the words from the report on the Bush budget presented by the Coalition on Human Needs, will mean, "Less Help for People in Need; Needless Help for Those with High Incomes." (The Bush Budget…February 2007, So the weather inside and outside of California has been quite cold, which is where most of our needy families will be if these proposed and preposterous cuts are approved. There is still time for you to take action. You can find information below on what you can do now, and you may also go to our website ( where you will always find out what's going on with CAP and our members throughout the state. There will be plenty of opportunities for you to help us win our fight against poverty, so stay tuned and stay involved.

And talk about cold, there has been a growing number of I.C.E. raids throughout our state. Our members and allies in the Immigrant Rights community have been hitting the pavement hard, talking to state and federal legislators, educating the community and their allies. The chill seems to be coming from all directions!

Keep reading to learn more about the proposed state budget cuts and how CAP has responded; we will highlight some of the components to the various healthcare proposals that have generated quite a buzz and much needed debate and action among our communities and advocacy groups; see our 2007 platform of priorities and issues; check out our calendar of events, find out when the next chapter meeting in your region is taking place, and what CAP and member events and actions are happening (during the month of May we plan to take the Capitol by storm with a number of actions by CAP and our members);read this issue's member profile: Latinos and Latinas en Accion (LLEA); and learn how you can make a difference by sending in your membership dues or becoming a new member of the CAP family. Your contributions, now, more than ever will help us keep this coalition work moving forward. Let's plan to fight the horrible nature of these proposed budget cuts to our most needy children, families, and individuals together!

In Solidarity
Nancy Berlin, Alicia Lepe, Rochelle Robinson

CAP Responds to the Governor's Budget

On January 10, the governor held a press conference in Sacramento to release his proposed budget cuts for the year. Significant changes to the CalWORKs Program, which provides cash assistance and services to eligible low-income families with children, are being offered as a way to address the $4 to $5 billion structural deficit. Under these proposals our children become the sacrificial lambs.

The governor has targeted children by proposing to eliminate cash assistance for children:

  • if their parents have not met their work requirements
  • if their parents have timed out
  • if their parents are not eligible for CalWORKs, such as the citizen children of undocumented parents

For more details on these cuts check out our CalWORKs Fact Sheet at

The Governor has also proposed to freeze CalWORKs grants for a third consecutive year:

  • Currently, a family of 3 in a high-cost county receives a maximum grant of $723 per month.
  • CalWORKs grants have lost ground to housing costs. For example, the Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two bedroom apartment is $1,189 in Los Angeles County and $1,238 in Alameda County, compared to the maximum grant of $723 for a family of three in high-cost counties
  • The maximum grant for a family of three in low-cost counties is $689. In contrast, the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment is $846 in San Joaquin County and $911 in Riverside County.
CAP immediately sprung into ACTION mode. In Sacramento, we joined members from LIFETIME, who mobilized a group of mothers and their children to oppose these cuts. While the governor was holding his press conference indoors, we took our own action outside to talk with reporters and raise our voices. In Los Angeles, a similar action was being echoed as CAP members gathered and held their own press conference about the impact of the cuts on poor families. Our voices were heard in more than 20 media stories statewide. Visit our website to find out what others are doing across the state and read and hear some of our media interviews. We also put out an action alert for calls, faxes, and e-mails to the governor to demand that he protect children on CalWORKs. There is still time for you to respond and take action. Contact the governor's office by phone: 916-445-2841; by fax: 916-445-4633; or by email: Tell the governor that taking away cash aid from California's poorest children is cruel and unnecessary. Struggling families need help – with education and training, child care and supportive services – not punishment. Don't cut CalWORKS! Don't balance the state budget on the backs of our children!

Every one of our voices count and we need your help in preventing these cuts. Get involved. Attend or conduct a budget training. Learn how the state budget process works and how as advocates you can make a difference. In northern California contact Rochelle Robinson at [email protected], or by phone (510) 292-6941, or Alicia Lepe in southern California at [email protected], or by phone (626) 224-8189 for information on how you can get involved in this process.

Healthcare, Healthcare, Healthcare

On January 8, the governor's announced his healthcare reform plan. It is a plan that is far from “Universal.” It is filled with vague language that makes it hard to determine who will be covered, how much it will cost, who will pay for it, and what terms like "individual mandate" really mean. One of CAP's goals is to: “Promote a proactive agenda that will expand health coverage, especially to all of California's children, and create building blocks for universal coverage.” But it is unclear, for example, how low-income and/or unemployed people will be able to afford this under the governor's proposed individual mandate.

It is also not clear if public hospitals and clinics will be protected under the governor's plan since it proposes taking away funds from this public safety net to fund other parts of the Governor's healthcare proposals. This will affect those who use these hospitals and clinics to attend to their healthcare needs. More specifically, this would impact immigrants who more often rely on the public system.

Healthcare for all? Although the governor has proposed that his plan will cover all Californians, there is concern that undocumented adults and maybe even undocumented children could get left out. Keep in mind that Governor Schwarzenegger opposed Proposition 86, the tobacco tax bill that would have provided coverage for children, and he also vetoed Senator Kuehl's SB840 for universal coverage. These measures would have certainly met the goals that the governor has been claiming he cares so much about. So far, we're not seeing the proof in the pudding.

There are also other healthcare plans that have been introduced from other members of the legislature including Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez (AB8), and Senate President, Don Perata (SB48), these bills, too, have varied on whom will be covered, but at the time of this writing, both bills propose to cover all California's children. CAP is keeping a close eye on these bills and other healthcare campaigns in California, and will keep you posted. If you would like to take a closer look at each of these healthcare proposals, you may visit the California Partnership website and click “web links” under new Legislative Updates feature, where you will find the links to the numerous sites that are following what's going on in the State Capitol including the link to the CA State Legislature. Go to and stay informed.

CAP's 2007 Platform

The California Partnership staff and Coordinating Committee met this January 16-17 to talk about our work in 2006 and to set priorities for 2007. In addition to setting priorities, the Coordinating Committee is responsible for leading CAP's activities. The members of the Coordinating Committee consist of representatives of each chapter (Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego and Fresno) as well as two at large members. At this year's retreat we set the following principles and priorities:

California Partnership Platform for 2007:

  • Promote a budget that reflects the values and needs of all Californians, and restores the state and federal government's human infrastructure needs.
    1. Defend and act against proposed cuts in the state budget in the areas of welfare, healthcare and childcare.
    3. Defend and act against cuts in welfare, healthcare and childcare programs due to federal law changes.
    5. Advocate for parent-friendly policies in the state implementation of the federal welfare changes, including seeking policies to increase access to educational and employment opportunities.
  • Promote a proactive agenda that will expand health coverage, especially to all of California's children, and create building blocks for universal coverage.
  • Protect the right of all no-income and low-income Californians to healthcare, housing, food security, workplace protections and educational and income equity.
  The following principles help to guide CAP's work... CAP supports members' bills in areas of welfare, healthcare, childcare, food security, and immigrant rights.

Recognizing the importance of tax fairness, civic engagement, racial equity and leadership development in accomplishing our priorities, CAP highlights these activities in all the work we do.

Calendar of Events

Please mark your calendars for the following CAP and member events throughout the state:

CAP chapter meetings:

  • Bay Area Chapter meets 4th Thursday each month in Oakland, 10am-Noon. Contact Rochelle Robinson at (510) 292-6941 for more info.
  • For information on the Los Angeles, San Diego, Fresno, and San Bernardino chapter meetings, contact Alicia Lepe (626) 224-8189.

Other events:

  • Friday, March 2, 3-6pm, Budget Training, Plymouth Congregational Church, 2717 University Blvd., San Diego. Contact the Supportive Parents Information Network (SPIN) at (619) 296-3402, or Alicia Lepe.
  • Upcoming Budget Hearings in Sacramento. Contact Rochelle Robinson (northern CA) at [email protected], or Alicia Lepe (southern CA), [email protected].
  • March 17, 2007 11:30, CAP, the National Alliance for Human Rights of San Bernardino and other local member organizations are Marching for Peace: to end the war in Iraq and end the war on Immigrants in the us. For more information contact Alicia Lepe at 626-224-8189.
  • Saturday, March 17, 9am-1pm, Bay Area PLAN Budget Action Forum, First Unitarian Church, 685 14th St., Oakland. Contact Michelle Matos for more information: 510.444.7526.
  • Friday, March 23, 9 AM - 1 PM, Celebrating Women's History Month:  How the California State Budget Affects Us. UCLA Downtown Labor Center in Los Angeles. RSVP to Eric Robinson at 310-453-2611 / [email protected].
  • March 26, 2007, CAP and the Hunger Action Coalition will be having a "train the trainers" and "Advocacy community training" on how to speak to elected officials from 10 AM to 8 PM. Although anyone is welcome to attend either (or both), the "training" is targeted for San Bernardino folks and the "Train the Trainer" to a smaller group consisting of people who want to know how to do the training. We have people coming from several counties for that one. Please note: Those who go to "Train the Trainer" from 10 am to 3 pm will be expected to stay and help with the community training at 6:30 pm! In other words, it'll be one long day in San Bernardino, from 10 am until 8 pm.
  • Tuesday, April 17, 10am-2pm, Hunger Action Day Training, Alameda County Community Food Bank, 7900 Edgewater Drive, Oakland. For more information contact Betsy Edwards, 510.635.3663, ext. 307.
  • Wednesday, May 2, Parent Voices Stand for Children Day, Sacramento. For more information contact Mary Ignatius at 415.882.0234.
  • Tuesday, May 8, Hunger Action Day, Sacramento. Contact Betsy Edwards at 510.635.3663, ext 307.
  • Monday & Tuesday, May 14 & 15, California Partnership Fair Budget Days of Action. For more information contact Nancy Berlin ([email protected]), Alicia Lepe ([email protected]), or Rochelle Robinson ([email protected]).

CAP Member Profile: Latinos and Latinas en Accion (LLEA) of San Diego

Latinos and Latinas en Acción (LLEA) is a coalition of self-sufficient and self-directed community residents. We work to promote social change and actively participate in San Diego's Mid-City's civic and political processes; and are well respected by the governing bodies at the city, county, state, and federal levels.


LLEA's mission is to lead, support and channel the various efforts the Latino community undertakes to improve the quality of life of their community and influence the civic and political processes that affect Mid-City.


LLEA recruits its members with two goals in mind:

  • To come together as a community and identify the basic needs that impact their community -- such as affordable housing, immigrant rights, access to health care and fair paying jobs.
  • To have the LLEA membership participate in activities and actions geared towards addressing those basic needs.

Through a variety of trainings, members learn the skills needed to advocate for different issues that affect the life of the community. The trainings include leadership development, community organizing and advocacy, personal growth, and the impact racism and oppression have on the daily lives of the members. This year, the priority areas for LLEA are:

  • Immigrant rights
  • Education
  • Affordable and healthy housing

LLEA has been a member of CAP for three years. We have participated in and benefited from a number of CAP activities including Fair Budget Days in Sacramento; budget trainings; Civic participation campaigns including Mobilize the Immigrant Vote; and healthcare campaigns. LLEA have been active members of the CAP Coordinating Committee and the San Diego Chapter.

Join and Support the Partnership

Support the California Partnership and Build Power for Low-Income Californians!

Be part of a growing movement! We're sure you understand the importance of all of us sharing the ownership of the California Partnership and being invested in its growing strength. Three years ago we had less than sixty members, just two chapters, and a non-representative coordinating committee. We now have over 120 member organizations, five chapters, and an elected and accountable coordinating committee. The move to implement dues is part of the effort to create an infrastructure that will continue to strengthen our network and our work.

The minimum dues structure is:
$25 small organization-less than $75,000 operating budget
$50 medium organization---less than $300,000 operating budget
$100 large organization---over $300,000 operating budget

We of course encourage you to donate more if you are able! We are keeping the dues low because of our commitment to include all organizations, and especially small, grassroots organizations, to participate. Community-based organizations who agree with our mission are eligible for membership.

We think you'll agree that the resources and growing community we offer as a member of the California Partnership are worth the very minimal dues, including:

  • eligibility to serve on the Coordinating Committee
  • eligibility to apply for small grants and stipends
  • quarterly newsletter
  • free access to teleconferences on subjects of interest
  • free access to popular education materials
  • free or low-cost trainings (e.g. how to talk to the media, how the state budget works, etc.)
  • travel and accommodation funds to participate in California Partnership events
  • work with organizations around the state with diverse constituencies and strategies that have united to fight poverty in California
  • exchange information and best practices with similar organizations around the state

Thank you and we look forward to working with you.

In Solidarity,
Nancy Berlin      Alicia Lepe     Rochelle Robinson


I'm Joining the California Partnership

I agree with the California Partnership's mission and would like to join:

___ $25 small organization-less than $75,000 operating budget
___ $50 medium organization---less than $300,000 operating budget
___ $100 large organization---over $300,000 operating budget
___ $25 individuals

In addition to dues and I/we are including an additional donation of: $_________.

Please make check payable to California Partnership, write in the memo area of your check that it is for "dues," and mail to:

Nancy Berlin
California Partnership
2533 West 3rd Street, #101
Los Angeles, CA 90057

Organization: _____________________________________________________________________

Name: _______________________________________ Title: ______________________________

Phone:_____________________ Fax #: _____________________ Cell: ______________________

Address:_________________________ City: __________________State: ________ Zip:_________

Email:____________________________ Issues of Interest:_________________________________

  copyright © 2007, California Partnership