Tag ‘ budget ’

Take the budget challenge!

Try your hand at balancing the California state budget. This Thursday, June 17th from 6:30-9pm, you can join Assemblymember Buchanan and Senators Loni Hancock and Mark DeSaulnier at a “Facing the Budget Crisis Challenge.”

At this event you will not only get to hear from the three legislators about California’s budget crisis, but will also have the opportunity to give them your direct feedback on how to solve the problems. The event is co-sponsored by Next 10, a non-partisan organization dedicated to giving Californians the tools and information they need to find long-term solutions for our state.

What: Facing the Budget Crisis- Next 10 Budget Challenge
Who: Assemblymember Joan Buchanan and Senators Loni Hancock and Mark DeSaulnier
Where: Dublin Library Community Room, 200 Civic Plaza, Dublin
When: Thursday, June 17th, 6:30-9:00pm
More information: Call us at (925) 328-1515

We very much hope to see you there, and encourage you to spread the word. It is going to take everyone working together to get California back on track and we hope to have your help!

10,000 Letters Campaign: Make Your Voice Heard

Governor Schwarzenegger’s proposed budget would eliminate the California Food Assistance Program, cut Supplemental Security Income, and decimate the CalWORKS program and other vital services, all of which will exacerbate hunger in your community and throughout the state.

With just a short time left before Governor Schwarzenegger introduces his May Revision budget, it’s imperative that voices for health and human services are heard loud and clear in the Capitol! 

That’s why the Food Bank of Contra Costa and Solano is partnering with other human services organizations across the state in asking everyone to generate letters for the “10,000 Letters Campaign”.  Our shared goal is to generate 10,000 letters to members of the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees and other leaders in opposition to the Governor’s proposed budget as soon as possible! 

We know that several thousand letters have already been generated – NOW we need your help to ensure we meet (and hopefully surpass) our goal of 10,000! 

Please click on the links below for your legislators, print out, sign, record your name, city and zip code (below your signature), and mail or fax each letter as soon as possible. We urge you to ask your family members, friends, colleagues, and anyone else to do the same. Thank you!

Assembly Member Joan Buchanan
Assembly Member Noreen Evans
Assembly Member Nancy Skinner
Assembly Member Tom Torlakson
Assembly Member Mariko Yamada
Senator Mark DeSaulnier
Senator Loni Hancock
Senator Pat Wiggins
Senator Lois Wolk

To locate your State representatives, visit If you are having difficulty opening any of these documents, please email Patty McDowell at

Budget Update: Dismantling the Safety Net

The budget deal between Governor Schwarzenegger and legislative leaders passed both the Senate and Assembly on Friday, July 24. CalWORKs and other health and human service programs suffered deep and harsh cuts while nothing was done to bring in new revenue and therefore spread the sacrifice. Additionally, the deal expands finger imaging to In-Home Support Services, meaning the elderly and disabled will be forced to provide a fingerprint in order to receive services.

Despite the claims of legislative leaders, there is little doubt that these cuts go a long way in dismantling California’s safety net. While the shock of these cuts begins to sink in, it appears, but has not been confirmed, that the California Food Assistance Program and the Brown Bag Program survived without cuts – a silver lining to an otherwise dark cloud of a budget.

The deal cuts $528 million from CalWORKs by decreasing benefits and increasing sanctions for families that fail to meet work requirements. The bill also reduces children’s grants for the first time in the history of the CalWORKs program. These cuts will punish low-income families who cannot find work and therefore force these families to make difficult choices between food, rent, utilities and other basic needs.

Cost of Living Adjustments
This budget repeals SSP and CalWORKs COLAs along with COLAs for almost every area of the state budget except K-12 education and requires any new COLAs be approved by a two-thirds vote.

Click here for more details on the budget from the Western Center on Law and Poverty.

State Budget Advocacy Action Items

What do we do now that the budget has left the Conference Committee and is in the hands of the Big 5? To answer that question, following is a message from California Food Policy Advocates (CFAP).

Action Items! What YOU can do!

1. Thank the budget conference committee for their positive actions to
save CFAP and eliminate SFIS (finger imaging). To see who was on the
budget conference committee:

2. Join with others in actions calling for the closing corporate tax
loopholes! Follow this link for more info:

3. Support legislation from Senator Padilla and Senator Steinberg to
raise tobacco taxes and levies on oil extraction. Follow this link for
more info:

4. Tell the Big Five that revenue solutions must be part of the final

Contact Info for the “Big Five”:

Governor Schwarzenegger:

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass:

Assembly Minority Leader Sam Blakeslee:

Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg:

Senate Minority Leader Dennis Hollingsworth:

Taken from the St. Anthony Foundation Blog.

California Budget

“Day 13 of Conference Committee completed our initial actions on the budget relating to human services… But the conferees did reject the governor’s proposal to eliminate CalWORKS. That is a line that California cannot cross…”

Read more about the Conference Committee Actions on Human Services and Public Safety posted by Assemblymember Noreen Evans at Assemblymember Evans’ Budget Blog.

Then send your letters to the budget committee and governor opposing a cuts only budget. Find a sample letter here.

You’re invited!

What: The first HUNGER FIGHTERS Community Advocates Against Hunger meeting.

Why: Learn what it means to be a community advocate and about the legislation the Food Bank supports. This is your chance to ask us questions!

When and Where: June 10 at 5:30 at the Food Bank warehouse in Concord and June 11 at 5:30 at the Food Bank warehouse in Fairfield. Visit our website for directions.

More info or to RSVP (by June 5): Lisa Sherrill, or 925-771-1304.

Budget Fight Continues

The Governor’s proposed budget for 2009-10 was released on New Year’s Eve by his Department of Finance. For a summary of the Governor’s proposed $770 million in cuts to health care (many of which have already been rejected numerous times by the Legislature as too severe), see the entry for December 31st on the Health Access Weblog. For a summary of the entire budget package, including $17 billion in cuts and $14 billion in new revenues, see the California Budget Project summary.

Take Action: BUDGET RALLY IN SF, MONDAY 1/12. Budget allies are encouraged to join California Partnership, Health Access, Senior Action Network and many more in rallying in front of the Governor’s office in San Francisco on Monday, January 12th to oppose the Governor’s proposed cuts as too severe. At the rally in San Francisco, we will provide an opportunity for all participants to call the Governor via mobile phone. We will then parade to the Governor’s office to deliver armloads of white carnations bearing the names of people who will be hurt if his cuts are enacted.

Details: Rally flyer (PDF: 133K)