The more than 1,200 nonprofit leaders who joined CalNonprofits’ livestream conversation with state Senator Holly Mitchell and Assemblymembers Monique Limón and Luz Rivas on Thursday, March 26th were treated to an informative, lively, and empowering discussion about state advocacy efforts to ensure the health, safety, and viability of California’s nonprofits during the COVID-19 crisis. We were inspired by these three legislative leaders – all women of color with nonprofit backgrounds.
The legislature moved quickly to authorize the Governor to spend up to $1 billion in emergency funding to address the evolving and urgent needs. We do not yet know what processes will be used to get the money to nonprofits.
The letter initiated by CalNonprofits and signed by more than 1,000 nonprofits articulating the specific needs of nonprofits has garnered the urgent attention of state government leaders. The need to ensure equal treatment for nonprofits with for-profits in employment, tenancy, small business loans, and emergency grants is top of mind.
The legislators agreed: “We are in a recession now,” but also stated that “this is no time for despair.”
As the Governor and the legislature work on the state budget this year, things are much more uncertain than usual. As a state, we are better positioned financially than we might have been, due to previous efforts to preserve a rainy-day fund. At the same time, the economic shockwaves to the state will likely mean reduced state revenue which could lead to sharp budget cuts.