Holly Mitchell’s anti-poverty bill AB 271 needs your support. Mitchell states “I have recently joined with CREDO Action to take a stand against penalizing families and children who are poor. I hope you will join me in this fight.”
Today, California’s poverty rate is at its highest point since the mid-1990s. One out of six Californians lived in poverty in 2011, according to the California Budget Project, including nearly one out of four children. I’ve seen many of these children in my district, which includes parts of south Los Angeles.
Yet our current state law endangers the health and wellbeing of infants born into poverty, while purposely limiting the reproductive choices and violating the privacy of poor women. Parents receiving assistance through the CalWORKs program may not receive a grant for any child born to the household while any member of the household is receiving aid, thanks to a policy known as the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule. Without the MFG rule, the amount most households would receive in additional benefits for the newborn child is $122/month. The cap makes poverty worse by forcing families to spread meager resources even thinner. It also inserts the state into the private reproductive and medical decisions of families who are poor and need basic assistance for their children.
It is for these reasons that I’m asking you to tell your senators to support AB 271, an anti-poverty measure I’ve introduced to repeal the MFG rule in the CalWORKs program. (To read the bill, go to leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB271 ) This bill will stop punishing poor children for simply having the misfortune of being born too close to their sibling, and prohibit the state from inserting itself into the private reproductive and medical decisions of families who are poor and seeking basic assistance for their children.
The best way to reduce poverty is to lift children out of it. Join me by signing this petition. We only need 100 signatures.
(Photo courtesy LA Times)