Food Justice News June 2, 2020:
Hunger Action LA condemns not only the police brutality that sparked the current uprising but all the cumulative actions of systemic racism that contributed to it, that built up the pile to which the murder of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin has lit the flame. We do not support looting including looting of buildings by opportunists on the street or looting of the public treasury by politicians working on behalf of those who want to maintain the status quo. That status quo is inequality of races and an economic system whose goalposts forever recede in the distance so that people give up trying to “live” because they’re too busy trying to “survive.”
To wit: the meager program of public assistance called SSI on which 1.2 million of our brothers and sisters in California depend. See below alert. Let’s keep the struggle going on the street and in the often opaque arena of public policy. As Jimi Hendrix wrote:
I just want to know about your different lives, on this here people farm
I heard some of you got your families, living in cages tall and cold
And some just stay there and dust away, past the age of old
Is this true? Please let me talk to you
ACTION ALERT: TELL THE GOVERNOR NO CUTS TO SSI
Below are directions for how to email through Gov. Newsom’s website and a template message. Let us know when you’ve emailed. Thank you!
- Go to https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov40mail/
- Screen 1: Enter your name, email, and choose “Budget Proposal 2020-21”
Screen 2: Position is Con, write your message. A template is below, and feel free to edit.
Dear Governor Newsom,
I am writing to oppose the SSI/SSP cut in your May Revise budget proposal and instead urging you to adopt the Senate’s budget proposal that would prevent cuts to the SSP COLA.
The proposed cuts will exacerbate the profound impact that COVID-19 has on low-income older and immunocompromised Californians, women and people of color. People on SSI are one of the most impacted populations in the health care crisis because they’re high risk to get sick from Covid-19, worsening already present inequities. A CalBudget Center brief published in February 2020 reports that SSI is a critical support for older women and people of color because they have faced structural inequality in the labor market. We cannot let the value of this program and the economic disparity between women and people of color fall behind even more, at the time when they need help the most.
SSI recipients have been advocating to restore the Great Recession cuts for over a decade and have only received one COLA, while other programs have been restored and new programs have been created and funded. It’s not much money by most people’s standards, but every dollar means a lot to people living on the edge. If this cut is implemented, how many years will it take after the COVID-19 crisis for it to be restored, let alone to bring the 1.2 million seniors and people with disabilities on SSI out of poverty? We appreciate that the Administration only proposes the cut as a trigger, but still a $5 per month cut would make a large difference for a person currently living at 89% of the federal poverty level.
According to the IMPLAN economic analysis, SSP investments have a significant economic multiplier: Every $10 million in increased State Supplemental Payments would support $15 million in economic output (multiplier of 1.50), 93 jobs, and $0.9 million in state and local tax revenue. This is the kind of boost to the economy that we need.
I hope to see that SSI/SSP will not be cut in the budget and that we can work toward seniors and people with disabilities living with dignity.
Many thanks to Shanti Prasad and the CA4SSI coalition for this template and alert!