Advancing Economic and Racial Justice
This month, Western Center recognized the anniversary of significant national wins and reminders of the distance we need to go in securing economic justice and workplace protections for all Californians. Alongside our CROWN Coalition partners, Dove, National Urban League, and Color of Change, we celebrated the fourth annual Crown Day, marking California’s historic, first in nation CROWN Act banning race-based hair discrimination. We are energized by the groundswell of activities to bring these protections nationwide – as we recognize Black Women’s Equal Pay Day in late July – representing that Black women must work a full year, plus an additional almost 8 months to match what men in similar positions make in just one year. Nationally, Equal Pay Day—representing all women—is March 14th. Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day is April 5; Latina Equal Pay Day is October 5th; and Native Women’s Equal Pay Day is November 30th. We close this Disability Pride Month, honoring the activists and attorneys whose tireless fight brought us the Americans with Disability Act 33 years ago, making the United States the first country to pass comprehensive protections for the basic civil rights of people with disabilities, outlawing discrimination against individuals with disabilities in schools, employment, transportation and other key parts of public life for the more than 61 million Americans living with disabilities, so they can participate fully in society.
JOIN US: Wednesday, August 2nd Poverty is Not a Joke Comedy Benefit
Just Announced: Cameron Esposito (Take My Wife, Queery) will be hosting our inaugural comedy benefit, this Wednesday at the Dynasty Typewriter in Los Angeles. Taking the stage is: Aparna Nancherla (BoJack Horseman, Bob’s Burgers, Corporate), Jackie Kashian (Stay-Kashian, The Dork Forest, Jackie and Laurie Show), Chike Robinson (2023 New Face of Comedy – Just for Laughs Festival, 2022 Comic to Watch – NY Comedy Fest), plus a notorious SPECIAL GUEST who is currently on a sold-out tour. All funds raised will benefit our work to eliminate poverty and advance racial justice. Tickets are limited, so grab yours today! Doors open at 6:30 PM and the show runs from 7:30 to 9 PM.
Western Center’s Overview Of The Final 2023-2024 California State Budget
The Governor and Legislature reached their 2023-2024 budget agreement, including a package of implementing bills detailing how California will spend $310 billion in revenues, manage a deficit, and maintain reserves for future uncertainty.
After years of a budget surplus, California is forecasting a downturn in funding due to a combination of capital gains losses and delayed tax filings due to natural disasters, but California remains strong. The final budget reflects $37.8 billion in total budgetary reserves and additional funds from the Managed Care Organization tax.
While the budget agreement avoids cuts to critical programs that communities with low incomes and communities of color rely on and investments in our safety net, there are still major gaps in the investments needed to build an equitable and thriving California.
NEW BLOG: California Steps Up To Stop Big Tobacco From Maliciously Targeting Black Communities
For decades Big Tobacco has targeted Black communities with their advertising. Abraham Zavala-Rodriguez, our Outreach and Advocacy Associate, details the history and tactics of Big Tobacco and discusses the steps California has taken to protect public health, especially Black public health.
“This is an industry rooted in racism, white supremacy, and nefarious capitalism. The colonialist and extractive production models used by tobacco producers had detrimental effects on Black, Brown, and Indigenous people at its origins. Today, Big Tobacco actively continues to disrupt community health initiatives meant to improve health outcomes for profit,” Zavala-Rodriguez writes.
ICYMI: Western Center Annual Report
Western Center published our 2022 Annual Report showcasing the work we do in partnership with our movement allies, legal aid service providers, coalitions, pro bono partners, funders, policy makers, and community members to advance racial and economic justice.