Food for Californians
This month, Western Center and Impact Fund settled our lawsuit against USDA to get emergency food benefits to Californians who need it most. Thanks to the settlement, and updated guidance from USDA that came out on the same day, people receiving SNAP (CalFresh in California) who have the lowest incomes will now receive increased emergency benefits that were authorized by Congress last year. One of our clients in the case, Steven Summers, wrote an excellent blog post detailing why he was a plaintiff, and how this outcome will help others in similar circumstances. We hope you will read his story.
California Housing History
Western Center’s newest housing advocates hit the ground running in Sacramento, and they are learning and sharing terrific knowledge along the way. Cynthia Castillo wrote an in-depth post about land use policy in California – what it is and why every Californian should care. And if you missed it, Tina Rosales wrote a highly informative post in February about the ways U.S. and California housing histories impact housing instability during the pandemic.
Fighting for Maternal Health
Last but certainly not least, April 5th-11th was National Public Health Week, and April 11th –17th was Black Maternal Health Week. We are always in the mix working on these fronts, and this year we are particularly excited to co-sponsor SB 65, California’s Momnibus bill to address the unacceptable disparities in birthing outcomes for Black and Indigenous parents and babies in our state. The bill is making its way through the state Senate, and after a bump in the process, it is now in Senate Appropriations. A federal Momnibus bill, which was introduced by Congresswoman Lauren Underwood, Congresswoman Alma Adams, Senator Cory Booker, and members of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Black Maternal Health Caucus, (and championed by Vice President Kamala Harris), is also moving through Congress.
Finally, to close out April and National Poetry Month, we leave you with this collection of poems for George Floyd, compiled by the Academy of American Poets. May this country continue its journey toward better ways and brighter days.