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Home | Newsroom | Miscellaneous | Western Center Roundup – May 2024

Western Center Roundup – May 2024


Celebrating Progress, Advocacy and AANHPI Heritage
This month, Western Center and our allies across the country paused to celebrate the rich contributions of our AANHPI friends and colleagues. We also recognized National Women’s Health Month, Mental Health Awareness Month, and May Day. Here in California, we celebrate the Honorable Dena M. Coggins for her recent confirmation by the U.S. Senate to serve as a judge for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California. Judge Coggins is the first AANHPI woman and first Black woman to serve as a lifetime judge on this court.
California Budget Update
Governor Gavin Newsom released his May Revision on May 10, estimating that the budget shortfall for the 2024-25 fiscal year grew by approximately $7 billion from the January Proposal to approximately $44.9 billion. After accounting for the early action budget package that included $17.3 billion of solutions, the remaining budget shortfall is approximately $27.6 billion.

Unfortunately, the governor’s budget places too much of the burden on low income and working families. We can and MUST do better! Join Western Center in advocating for a final budget that works for (and protects) those we serve! Western Center’s analysis of the Governor’s May Budget Revision is available here.

Blog Post: May Day Is About Solidarity 
In a recent blog post, Western Center advocacy and outreach associate Abe Zavala-Rodriguez helps us all remember the history of May Day, shares what this critical observance means to him  and the importance of celebrating and advocating for solidarity in the workers rights movement. Read more here.
Blog Post: California Can Lead The Country In Delivering For Foster Youth
Western Center senior attorney Rebecca Miller recently wrote a blog post encouraging California lawmakers to continue efforts to ensure child support payments reach foster youth. For decades, federal law has required custodial parents who receive public benefits to assign their child support payments to the government as reimbursement for the cost of those benefits. California is taking steps to undue these harmful and misguided policies. Read more here.
Executive Director Crystal Crawford Tapped As Weingart Foundation’s
Inaugural Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships
Western Center is proud to share that the Weingart Foundation has chosen our Executive Director Crystal Crawford for a groundbreaking new senior leadership role that will allow the Foundation to increase its racial justice impact. She will serve as the Weingart Foundation’s inaugural Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships.

Crystal took the helm of Western Center nearly four years ago, and during her tenure, she has steered the organization through a series of both external and internal achievements. These include,  more deeply centering racial justice in WCLP’s approach to our work, supporting community-led efforts to transform unjust systems, and strengthening the Center’s partnerships with BIPOC communities. Internally, she greatly increased the racial diversity of the board of directors and staff, and deepened WCLP’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Read more here.

Join Western Center on Law and Poverty on June 18th for POVERTY IS NOT A JOKE at Dynasty Typewriter, a comedy benefit raising funds for our work to advance racial and economic justice by making health care affordable, housing accessible, and safety net programs readily available to the 7 million+ Californians living in poverty.

Joining this year’s line up Chris Estrada (This Fool), Robin Tran (Don’t Look at Me), Felicia Folkes, and Chike Robinson (A Kid from Flint). This show has limited seating and will sell out, so grab your ticket today!

Tickets are $50. Sponsorships are $1,500 and include one reserved center row of ten seats, 10 Poverty Is Not a Joke t-shirts, and 20 drink tickets. Doors open at 6PM; show begins at 7PM.

OCTOBER 23RD! Western Center’s Annual Fundraiser: Garden Party returns live (and by live stream) to the Ebell of Los Angeles! Garden Party is a networking and awards event for the legal, policy, and social justice fields, recognizing leaders on the frontlines who have worked to transform policies and laws and dismantle harmful systems to build a more just California. Ticket sales open in July when we will announce the line up of 2024 honorees and special guests. Sponsorships are available now!
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