Latino Community Foundation’s Statement on May 2021 Budget Revision

Today, Governor Gavin Newsom released his May 2021–22 Budget revision and made it clear that California is indeed roaring back! The May revise is a transformational proposition with clear value statements and a commitment to not return to normal — because normal was not good enough. The proposals made today will have a ripple effect on generations to come — and the Latino Community Foundation (LCF) is proud to see these bold proposals in the future of our state and our Latino families.

California is ready to use its strength and power as the fifth largest economy and finally put forward a just economic recovery plan in motion. California possesses a $75 billion surplus, a reminder of the wealth that sits in this Golden State.

Below are key takeaways of the 2021–2022 revised budget proposal that will impact California’s Latinos:

Strengthening the Floor for Latino Low-Income Families
Governor Newsom’s budget proposes $100 billion in economic relief that will include expanding the state’s Golden State Stimulus and provide immediate relief for two-thirds of Californians. A stimulus check of $500 would be distributed to families with dependents, regardless of their citizenship status. These resources will help Latino families cover basic needs like food and housing as we work our way through the devastating losses that have impacted Latinos disproportionately. Last year, 64 percent of Latino households lost earnings, compared to 43 percent of white households.

Governor Newsom has led with moral clarity and his continued commitment to California’s workers and families. California has set the bar on what it means to lead with compassion, especially for undocumented workers who were left out of the federal government’s relief efforts. The proposals include all families, acknowledging that undocumented workers have not stopped serving on the frontlines and borne the burden of this pandemic.

Securing Access to Healthcare for Undocumented Californians over the age of 60
Universal health care has never been more critical than during this pandemic, especially for the 1.8 million undocumented Californians who are currently uninsured. Today, California took a leap forward in closing this gap that disproportionately affects the Latino community.

Governor Newsom’s proposal to expand health care to undocumented residents over the age of 60 is historic and a major win for our communities. LCF, together with our partners like TODEC Legal Center in California’s Coachella Valley, CHIRLA, and many more, have been fiercely advocating for Latinos who make up two-thirds of the state’s uninsured populations.

If passed by the state legislature, California will become the first state in the nation to expand health insurance to undocumented residents 60 and over. Once again, setting a clear statement of values that ALL people deserve the right to healthcare access. The Latino Community Foundation will continue to advocate until all people, regardless of immigration status, have the basic human right to access healthcare.

Prioritizing Healing and Recovery through Mental Health and Educational Needs of Latino Students
We cannot afford to ignore the trauma our communities we have just experienced. More than 28,000 Latino families lost a loved one in California in the past year. Nearly two-thirds reported a loss of employment income and many of them work in sectors that may never fully recover. The mental health toll on families and children has been severe. The trauma is layered on other unhealed wounds and burdens from living in under-resourced neighborhoods and counties. The $1 billion proposal to reform our mental health system could not come at a better moment. Now, we need to accelerate approval of these funds and put the resources to work. Our families cannot afford to wait long.

Governor Newsom’s May revise proposal will also make transformational changes to our public education system, including a $20 billion budget proposal for wraparound behavioral health services for younger Californians.

The impacts of this pandemic go far beyond the economy and we thank Governor Newsom for listening and prioritizing mental health our younger generations in the state’s recovery efforts.

Delivering on Broadband for All

Governor Newsom’s $7 billion investment to close the digital divide is game changer. Delivering on this promise will mean that we can in fact keep the California Dream alive. Throughout the pandemic, we witnessed this inexplicable inequity. In the backyard of Silicon Valley, students found themselves relying on free-WIFI at fast food restaurants- in order to keep up with distance learning.

How can the state with the fifth largest economy in the world not guarantee broadband access to its residents, especially in the Central Valley? To date, 30% of Latino students in the state lack internet access at home. It is time to permanently close the digital divide.

That is why LCF signed the Digital Equity Bill of Rights that advocates for greater broadband access and we are grateful for Governor Newsom’s bold and necessary proposed expansion.

Setting up Latino Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs for Success
Governor Newsom’s budget proposal makes it clear, that without our small businesses recovering, there will be no full recovery for California. The commitment to small businesses includes expanding the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program to $4 billion — the largest small business relief program in the nation. The budget will also include micro-grants of up to $10,000 to support entrepreneurship and small business creation, especially for undocumented residents and those with limited-English.

The investments will provide much needed relief to Latino small-business owners and entrepreneurs. More than one quarter of all California businesses are Latino-owned.

Now we work together to ensure that we are equipping our Latino communities to tap into these resources. The Latino Community Foundation has been supporting several organizations to help them begin Community Development Financial Institutions. Groups like the Fresno Area Hispanic Foundation are providing technical assistance to Latino small business owners and entrepreneurs.

The Latino entrepreneurial spirit is the backbone of our economy. We all win when our small businesses and entrepreneurs have the resources they need to thrive.

Providing Housing Relief
Governor Newsom’s $12 billion housing package allocates $1.6 billion for rental support and homelessness prevention and $5.2 billion to help Californians cover back-rent. Groups like Public Advocates and grassroots organizations, like Nuestra Casa in East Palo Alto, have led the fight for renter protections and they continue to play an integral role in helping Latinos access the state’s rent relief funds.

We applaud the Governor’s meaningful proposed investments that will support Latinos who are more likely to face housing displacement.

Now is the time for the California legislature to respond in kind. Californians are ready to begin a season of healing and rebuilding. The May Revise sets the stage for a just, equitable recovery — a new normal.

We ask that our state leaders move with urgency to approve these proposed investments in the present and future of California. Lives depend on it.

The philanthropic sector must now do its part: invest in grassroots organizations led by communities of color!
Governor Newsom has made it clear that California is ready for a roaring come back — and lead to a different normal. The proposed bold and historic investments are exactly what’s needed and set the stage for a just economic recovery plan. Now, the philanthropic sector must step up and ensure the nonprofit infrastructure can deliver these resources to the most marginalized and vulnerable families and communities. Philanthropy is overdue in investing in Black-, Native-, Latino-, Asian-led organizations. In fact, less than 1.1% of all philanthropic dollars are invested in Latino-led organizations. It is why LCF has committed its mission to change that and unleash the civic and economic power of Latinos.

It is also why we proudly support Assemblymember Miguel Santiago’s bill, AB 1515, which would create a grant program to help community groups conduct meaningful outreach on critical programs like rent relief, Cal EITC and the Golden state stimulus.

The Latino Community Foundation is ready to do its part, and we thank Governor Newsom for setting the stage for the greatest comeback in our generation.

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