More children go to bed hungry in California than anywhere else in America. This is a humanitarian crisis.
We can make California a turnaround story and create opportunity for all.
We can build a stronger safety net AND address the roots of poverty.
We can launch bold and innovative solutions that break this vicious cycle for good.
- “Family bonds”: every low-income family gets $6,500 in stock that follows the broader stock market. It will be redeemable within 30 years or in 60 years, opening the door to home ownership and generational wealth, respectively.
- Expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit and tying it to inflation
- Enacting the “Clyburn Rule“, where the poorest neighborhoods get infrastructure investment dollars first
- Create a state-owned bank that offers micro-loans at a low interest rate for people looking to establish or improve their credit, create a savings account, or invest in their home
- Massive investment in job centers, public/private partnerships, and subsidized education to get today’s most vulnerable workers ready for tomorrow’s economic growth
Breaking the Poverty Cycle Once and for All
5 generations. That’s how long it takes a low-income American family to escape poverty. We are the least upwardly mobile country in western civilization, and California has income inequality that is worse than Guatemala’s. This pervasive inequality is not only unjust but bad for our economy. We spend over $100 billion a year on a safety net that treats the symptoms, not the root cause.
The root of it is complicated, but it’s known. To have a more equally thriving economy we need a Marshall Plan for poor and working class families. We must be bold and smart. Family bonds alone would eradicate poverty in our state within our lifetime for a fraction of what it costs to pay for CalWorks and CalFresh in one year.
When I worked late nights or studied for my MBA after hours, the cleaning ladies were there to encourage me every night. They reminded me of my mother and grandmother who did the same for their family, but often came up short. It’s time we gave them a break to this cycle once and for all.
Real Relief To Working Families Now
The Earned Income Tax Credit has helped lift many people up, but it needs to keep growing at or above the pace of inflation. We need programs where families get immediate financial help at a low rate with some or no credit at all. We need to offer more financial housing support when income is lost or insufficient.
Not all families need the same amount of help. Some don’t need any. We’re not all suffering the same before or during the pandemic.
I’ve seen this with the low-income students I represent, the people experiencing homelessness I support, and the working class parents who tell me how they struggle to find jobs (many per each of them) that pay enough.
Our budget, nor our resources, are finite. Equity, not equality, must be the framework we use to decide where money goes. When we have achieved equity we can choose solutions that lift all equally. We can make that day come soon.
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