Yesterday afternoon Women's Empowerment staff. students, and graduates joined advocates from around the state for a rally against Governor Brown's proposed cuts to California's welfare-to-work program CalWorks. CalWORKS is a basic needs program that provides income support and services to California parents and their children. It provides a basic level of subsistence for California children, while helping their parents improve their job skills and education. Of the more than 1 million recipients of the program, more than three out of four--77%--are children. Nearly half of child recipients are under the age of 6. 92% of heads of recipient households are women. For many Women's Empowerment students and graduates CalWorks is a crucial resource. Without it they would be unable to secure affordable childcare, pursue job training and educational opportunities, and, in many cases, pay rent. Analysists estimate that if the proposed cuts to CalWorks were to pass, thousands of California families would fall deeper into poverty and many more would become homeless.
Women, children, and service providers filled one of the largest State Assembly hearing rooms yesterday to send a message that CalWorks budget cuts are unacceptable. Women's Empowerment graduates provided moving testimonies about their experiences as CalWorks recepients and the importance of the program. This morning we awoke to the news that our empowered voices were heard. The assembly rejected Governor Brown's proposal to cut CalWorks funding! Click here to read today's article in the Sacramento Bee anouncing the assembly's decision. This morning Women's Empowerment students proudly displayed the article on our altar as a reminder that when women come together, powerful change is possible.