California Governor’s Proposed Budget Holds Promise of Progress for Boys and Men of Color
Community organizations and families have been tirelessly championing policies that will improve the lives of young people of color across the state. The recent release of the Governor’s 2020-2021 budget demonstrates the efficacy of their efforts to ensure California continues to make positive steps toward advancing opportunities and dismantling barriers for communities of color, including boys and men. California Funders for Boys and Men of Color (CFBMoC) applauds the Governor’s vision of an equitable California for all.
The $222 billion budget has key implications for and strong alignment with the work of CFBMoC and our advocacy and organizing partners over the next year. Working through the regional action committees, our members are focused on investing in community partners and systems that are reimagining the youth justice system to focus on youth development in Los Angeles County, improving access to workforce development opportunities and juvenile justice reform in Northern California, and strengthening and widening post-secondary access and completion efforts in Sacramento / San Joaquin Counties. Among other proposals, the Governor’s budget includes:
- A commitment to close statewide prisons in the next five years, aiming to reduce California’s $15.8 billion correctional system budget. With the reduction in the prison population, the budget focuses instead on rehabilitation and reentry efforts, which will receive an additional $44 million through savings from Prop 47. The budget also includes $6.2 million in the first year and $10.1 million in following years for the Youth Offender Rehabilitative Communities program, which will provide mentors and rehabilitative and education programs to those that have been impacted by the system.
- Support for child health and wellness, childhood education and childhood poverty, with a commitment of more than $2.4 billion in early childhood programs. The budget allocates $5 million to the state’s Health and Human Services Agency, under which the Governor proposes to create the Department of Early Childhood Development. With children of color, particularly Latinx and Black children, far more likely to experience economic hardship in California, this is a historic step forward.
- Addressing racial disparities in our K-12 education system by allocating $900 million for professional development and teacher recruitment. The budget also focuses on wraparound services that address mental health and social services to ensure kids are college-ready.
- Secondary education and healthcare as top priorities, with the budget focusing on workforce training, additional funding for community colleges to provide new support to students and faculty retention. The budget also brings the state one step closer to universal health coverage, expanding coverage to nearly 27,000 undocumented young adults and seniors.
“We are encouraged by the Governor’s commitment to ensuring a positive future for all of our children, youth and communities,” said Chet P. Hewitt, President and CEO of the Sierra Health Foundation, and a member of California Funders for Boys and Men of Color. “Essential to this plan will be addressing the underlying causes of inequity that leave so many behind, particularly low-income communities and communities of color. This budget is a reminder that while the work of our partners and community leaders has been crucial in moving us toward necessary systems changes, many opportunities for impact remain. We look forward to the work and partnership ahead to ensure that California and its policies help all residents truly prosper and thrive.”
As the budget process unfolds, CFBMoC will continue to work closely with its partners, the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and the Assembly and Senate Select Committees on the Status of Boys and Men of Color to keep our members updated on opportunities to be involved. If you have any questions, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the proposed budget, listen to the California Budget & Policy Center’s webinar, or review the summary here.
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