Young Invincibles, Assem. Weber, Students and Advocates Hail Final Passage of Campus Hunger Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

August 23, 2016

Contact: Nina Smith, nina.smith@younginvincibles.org301-717-9006

Young Invincibles, Assem.Weber and Advocates Hail Final Passage of Campus Hunger Bill 

The measure would ensure greater access to food resources for vulnerable students on California college campuses

SACRAMENTO, CA — Young Invincibles joined Assem. Weber (D-San Diego), students and fellow activists in hailing final passage of AB 1747 out of the California state legislature. If signed into law, the measure would eliminate bureaucratic barriers that prevent the Golden State’s most vulnerable students from accessing food resources on its college campuses. It now heads to Governor Brown for his signature.

“We are very pleased AB 1747 has achieved successful passage with strong support. AB 1747 allows the state to take a few small steps to reduce hunger and increase college completion for thousands of  California students,” said Gustavo Herrera, Western Director of Young Invincibles, a Millennial research and advocacy group leading organizing efforts for AB 1747. “We know that hunger and economic deprivation result in higher dropout rates for our most vulnerable students. By maximizing federal food assistance received and spent in California through AB 1747, we can not only ensure more students can access college, but also ensure they complete their degrees. We urge Governor Brown to sign this common-sense measure into law.”

“Nearly a quarter of students in the CSU system and nearly 20 percent of UC students are facing food insecurity,” Assem.Weber, AB 1747’s lead legislative sponsor said. “California should be finding solutions to support low-income college students, reduce hardships, and remove economic barriers to graduation. While some campuses are stepping up to address food insecurity and homelessness, many are not. AB 1747 is a vital step in connecting students with available resources to help improve campus climate and a student’s overall academic success.”

Frequently, students who’ve overcome significant challenges to attend college go hungry when they come to campus. For them, CalFresh, California’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), has proven difficult to access. AB 1747 would address challenges students face accessing CalFresh, which provides federally funded food benefits for low-income Californians. Newly implemented state laws (AB 1930, Chaptered Bills of 2014) reduce barriers to application for CalFresh for low-income college students, but many students still don’t know about the rule change or how to apply.

“Vulnerable students who have made it to college are among California’s best and brightest students, and they shouldn’t be undermined by the indignity of hunger,” said Jessica Bartholow, policy advocate for Western Center on Law and Poverty, a co-sponsor of the bill. “AB 1747 takes meaningful steps toward protecting these college students from hunger and state investments in their education.”

Today’s legislative action is welcome news for current and former students for whom this issue is all too familiar. One advocate added, “I am shocked that almost 20 years later, food insecurity is still a major obstacle in beginning, thriving and completing one’s education,” said Kathleen Selke, an advocate working with Young Invincibles. “And with tuition and fees at both 4-year and 2-year institutions having risen 28 percent since the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis,  I fear for future students, including my four younger siblings who have yet to complete school as my experience discouraged them from going to college. With college tuition costing so much, something has to give and it shouldn’t be students’ health.  I am pleased to see our state’s lawmakers recognize the need for AB1747 and have taken action to ensure that we make providing students with the basic support they need while completing their degrees, such as access to affordable food, a priority.”

Should AB 1747 be signed into law, it would establish a fund to support partnerships between food banks and on-campus food kitchens and allow local partnerships to improve on-campus pantry food safety and increase the amount of food available. It would also allow for more information about on-campus pantries and will help the California Department of Social Services better serve low-income college students most at risk of dropping out of school.

California colleges have already taken steps to understand the growing student hunger crisis on campus. Senate passage follows the release of data pointing to a growing hunger crisis on California college campuses. According to a Cal State study released this year, one in four students go hungry on the system’s campuses. Another survey from the University of California Student Association found that 19 percent of UC students indicated they had “very low” food security. As a result of the survey, UC’s President Janet Napolitano approved $3.3 million in new funding over the next two years to help students access food on and off campus.

###

 

Share Button

Our Families Deserve a Choice: My Day Rallying with Health4All Activists

Health4All Rally

 

Update: After this blog was posted Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 10 into law, a measure that will take California closer to making health care coverage available to all Californians. Read the full release here.

I was excited to meet Young Invincibles, a group that shared the same enthusiasm as me on the issues that affect such a large part of California’s working class. As a resident, student, and advocate in California, I was eager to join the fight for something that matters to our community and economy: supporting Senate Bill 10, which expands access to the healthcare marketplace for thousands of Californians regardless of their immigration status.

Californians face incredible barriers when it comes to finding quality health care, especially for more than one million of the state’s undocumented residents. Language in the Affordable Care Act  prevents undocumented people from receiving financial assistance to get covered, which leaves a significant demographic at risk, and also cuts entire families–some mixed status, some not–out of options to receive the medical care they need.  SB 10 is a step in the right direction, enabling Californians to shop for health care, an option that is a luxury to millions. To me, passing SB 10 grants many of California’s families a necessary safety net.

The Health4All Coalition leadership and training conference met in Sacramento, where I came across many other students, both undergrad and graduate, who all had their own stories about health care and sense of social responsibility. Through my activities and participation, I realized that social changes all come step by step with large groups of support; it takes an army of advocates to move even an inch forward. Being a part of something that is bigger than myself, organizing with people dedicated to opening up access to health care for all Californians, was a great inspiration. With my eyes open and ears active, we marched to the Capitol. During the walk, I came out of my comfort zone and I felt my strength build up. As I approached the Capitol building, I saw one or two people holding signs for other causes, and I couldn’t help but think they needed young advocates to represent them and advance their own missions.

Our rally was peaceful, yet effective. We weren’t fighting, but rather passionately supporting a decision that needs to be made by state government. We weren’t breaking down walls or asserting our aggression; we were walking into the offices of elected officials from our regions that mostly support the health care equity that comes from this bill. If you look at the dedication, sacrifices, and successes of this cause, you see that the time is now to support SB10. We have seen this bill pass in our Senate, and we will continue to advocate until we see all of California’s families get access to care. With continued support, critical thinking, and great enthusiasm, we can mobilize movements–even just an inch–to improve our future for generations.

Alyssia Hogue is an economics student graduating from Los Angeles City College in June 2016, and transferring to University of California Davis in fall 2016.

Share Button

KCRA: Cash for College: KCRA Answers Your Financial Questions

Young Invincibles’ California Policy Analyst Jerrel Peterson speaks with KCRA in Sacramento at the Cash for College call-in center for families to discuss the options available to help pay for college.

Watch the interview here.

Share Button

California Economic Summit: Report Looks at Where Millennials Work and How Much They Make

By Nadine Ono

“The nation is slowly, but surely recovering from the Great Recession, as jobs are added and wages grow. At first glance, the numbers look good, but it’s a mixed bag for Millennials, especially those living in California. In a new report issued by Young Invincibles titled, “Where Do Young Adults Work,” the research shows Millennials are finding employment. The catch is that the wages for the generation are going down, which is not good news to young adults who are possibly saddled with student debt and the rising cost of living.” Read more here.

Share Button

Hundreds of Thousands Of Young Californians Still Excluded From Affordable Care Act Benefits


Young Invincibles’ Releases Its Open Enrollment Game Plan To Educate Young Immigrants About Their Health Care Options, And Push Lawmakers To Expand Coverage For All Young Californians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 20, 2014

Contacts:
Riana King, riana.king@younginvincibles.org, 213.221.7326
Sarah Lovenheim, sarah.lovenheim@younginvincibles.org, 585-746-8281

[Los Angeles] — Today, President Obama is expected to announce an executive order on immigration. As national dialogue focuses on the importance of immigrants in today’s society, Young Invincibles’ has released a memo, detailing just how many young immigrants in the Golden State lack health insurance, and why insurance is so critical not just to their health, but to California’s economy.

Attached is the memo that provides these facts, along with the Young Invincibles’ game plan to educate and enroll young immigrants in health coverage plans statewide, and to urge state leaders to expand health access for all undocumented individuals. Hundreds of thousands of young immigrants lack health insurance. This Open Enrollment, Young Invincibles – focusing its educational and advocacy efforts in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sacramento – will work aggressively to change that.

Linda Leu, California Policy and Research Director at Young Invincibles, addressing today’s outlook for young undocumented Californians, said:

“Young undocumented Californians represent a significant portion of the state’s population and workforce, and will be an indispensable part of the state’s future. Yet hundreds of thousands lack access to the most basic health coverage necessary to live productive lives. Young Invincibles calls upon California policymakers to consider this vital need as President Obama prepares to announce an executive order on Immigration. This Open Enrollment season, Young Invincibles will continue working with Governor Brown and state legislative leaders to move forward with expanding coverage for all Californians, so that our state can continue to lead the way on health care reform.”

Please be in touch if you would like to speak with a policy expert, or have questions.

*****

Share Button

The Daily Titan: SB 1210 Will Help Bridge Gap Undocumented Students Face

By Andrew McLean

“The United States of America is a land that couldn’t exist as it does today without the contributions of people from other parts of the world. Throughout history, people of all different cultures, ethnic backgrounds and religions came to this land in search of their own version of the “American Dream,” which James Truslow Adams defined as, “Life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” Read more here.

Share Button

California Healthline: State Unveils Health Plan Report Cards

By David Gorn

“On Wednesday, the state released its annual report cards that rate health plans and medical groups for consumers. ‘This is a pretty big day for us,’ said Beth Abbott, the new director of the Office of the Patient Advocate, which puts out the report cards. She said each year the report cards increase in usage, stature and consumer visibility. ‘It’s a wonderful tool for consumers who have to make a choice about a health plan,’ Abbott said.” Read more here.

Share Button

Orange County Register: Kaiser Tops Health Report Card in Orange County, State

By Bernard Wolfson

“Kaiser Permanente got top marks among HMOs and medical groups in Orange County and across California, according to the most recent edition of a state-sponsored health care report card released Wednesday. The 14th annual report by the Office of the Patient Advocate gave Kaiser’s Southern California HMO the highest possible rating – four stars – for adherence to widely accepted standards of care and for overall patient satisfaction.” Read more here. 

Share Button

La Opinión: Existe Una Brecha Económica Entre Etnias

By Marvelia Alpízar

“Cristian Barrera desea obtener un trabajo en una organización comunitaria para ayudar a los latinos. Pero la falta de recursos económicos le ha impedido culminar sus estudios universitarios.” Para leer mas, haz click aquí.

Share Button