Poverty reduction through budget education and advocacy, coupled with leadership development, is the core of the work of the California Partnership. Our goal is to reduce and end poverty by helping low-income families and individuals to have a greater voice in the issues that directly affect their lives, and to work toward a budget that works for all Californians. In 2013 alone, CAP organized successful media actions to highlight the devastating effects of cuts to state social services in five communities, held multiple rallies across the state, held a state wide action day to call attention to the States uncontrolled poverty crisis, and organized more than 50 visits to elected officials so that low-income people could describe in their own words the impact of the continued cuts. CAP also convened multiple training sessions to help build capacity for political participation amongst California’s most vulnerable citizens.
Health care continues to be one of the most critical issues facing California Partnership’s member groups and the communities in which they work. In the run-up to the historic passage and signing of the Affordable Care Act, California Partnership secured the pledges of support from 27 California congress people, as well as former Lieutenant Governor John Garamendi. We now are driving forward the implementation of the Low Income Health Program, bringing health care coverage to the most vulnerable Californians. In addition, California Partnership serves on the steering committee for the Having Our Say Coalition, and co-directs the Health and Human Services Network, where we are active in fighting to protect existing services, and are advocating for major state health care reform. Using our health rights curriculum, CAP has trained low-income leaders to better understand the complexities of the health care system, to examine models for change and to increase their participation in civic life.