Read our paper with the
Stanford Center on Poverty
A Roadmap to An Inclusive Economy
California is up against poverty-wage jobs, separate and unequal schools, unaffordable housing, polluted neighborhoods, police and community violence, and a broken immigration system, just to name a few. Here’s our plan to combat California’s most pressing issues and create opportunity for those who need it most.
Families throughout California are struggling to obtain the most basic necessities. They need a strong safety net that allows them to access food, housing, health care, child care, and an income floor to weather difficult times without navigating endless red tape. We envision technology, systems, and people working in lockstep to get needed resources to families in a way that centers their dignity and respects their time.
The pandemic has brought to the forefront how much we depend on essential workers in agriculture, food services, caregiving, and other low-wage jobs. It has also exposed how workers are often working multiple jobs with few, if any, benefits. Those with the most to lose are also the most vulnerable to wage theft, employment discrimination in hiring, retaliation, and abuse. The wage gap continues to disproportionately impact women of color, who are more likely to be their families’ breadwinners and to take on child care responsibilities. We envision a worker-centered ecosystem that protects the right to organize and that provides strong worker protections, training, and pathways to quality jobs.
California—the wealthiest state in the country—is home to millions of residents who are either unhoused or on the brink of eviction. We believe housing is a fundamental human right. That means we must protect tenants’ rights, build more affordable housing, and fight displacement by keeping current units affordable. We envision thriving communities with stable and affordable housing for all.
Centuries of racist, sexist, and xenophobic policies and practices have ensured that families stay trapped in intergenerational cycles of poverty. We must directly tackle the racial and gender wealth gaps in our state by changing an upside-down tax code that rewards the rich, misses the middle, and penalizes the poor. We envision a state in which every person—regardless of race, gender, or zip code—has the chance to build long-term financial stability they can pass along to future generations.
The safety of every Californian is paramount, and so are second chances. We know that Black and Brown communities have been unfairly targeted by police for decades, and as a result, disproportionately represent those who are incarcerated. We also continue to punish these individuals and their families by making them pay for a range of costs related to being imprisoned—including phone calls, ankle monitors, probation, and more. We envision a system that does not criminalize people for being poor; increases funds for mental health services and community providers; eliminates administrative and other criminal justice fees placed on people who have served their sentence; and supports reentry so that people have access to assistance, housing, education, and employment.