Reflections on 2019 and the Decade of the Superhero
I just heard the 2010s described as the decade of the superhero. With Wonder Woman, Black Panther, the Avengers, and others dominating the box office, we saw many examples of triumphant superheroes and their indomitable allies. We've seen this too in advocacy efforts over the past decade. In 2011, then-Assemblymember Felipe Fuentes led a diverse coalition of advocates to enact state law that removed the finger-imaging requirement and other persistent barriers to CalFresh participation. As the decade continued, another hero emerged in Senator Mike McGuire, who advanced the vision of hunger-free schools. We now have more than 3,000 of them in California. In 2018, Assemblymember Rob Bonta helped a coalition of anti-hunger and education allies guarantee that all low-income charter school students have access to school meals. This year, former-CalFresh Branch Chief Kim McCoy Wade and now-acting Branch Chief Alexis Fernandez - alongside a powerful cohort of stakeholders - kicked off a historic expansion of CalFresh access among Californians who receive SSI. These heroic efforts led to some very important victories.
But as the decade comes to a close, we know this isn't the triumphant ending. Throughout 2019, the Trump Administration has endeavored to undermine the health and well being of low-income Californians. From the repeated attacks and harmful proposals targeting immigrants to the just-announced final rule to remove 700,000 people from SNAP, the hits keep coming. And the challenges aren't all federal: efforts to improve CalFresh and increase access to school meals were stalled in the legislature. Governor Newsom vetoed an effort to guarantee access to nutritious meals for pre-K kids. In all of these battles, there were superheroes like you who raised your voices and fought back.
So I choose to think of this time as the period between sequels -- when we have to hang on and hang in for a little longer until we get to the victorious finale. While we don't have a trailer to preview the story of next year ("In a world where hunger, poverty, and inequities persist..."), we do have our 2020 agendas to share. Below you can read about some of our state legislative plans. Soon we will share our research, federal, and administrative advocacy Agendas. We look forward to working with you in 2020 and appreciate all that you do.
George Manalo-LeClair, Executive Director, CFPA
Moving Ahead: 2020 State Policy Priorities
Toward a Vision of Food for All Californians
As we leave 2019 behind, we look forward to opportunities next year to move closer to our vision for a California free from hunger. Now is the time to advance bold solutions to urgent problems.
All Californians deserve opportunities to thrive and the resources they need to be well nourished.
Our youngest children deserve guaranteed access to nutritious food.
Our students deserve school meals that support learning.
Our elders deserve to age in place with dignity and support.
Our immigrant families deserve safety, security, and stability.
Let's honor the promise of all Californians & commit to a better future for all who call California home.
We look forward to partnering with you in 2020 to advance ambitious state policy that helps fulfill the vision of good food for all.PDF