May 2024 Newsletter

May 2024 Newsletter

Governor’s 2024 May Revise Unacceptable For California’s Children And Families

On May 10, Gov. Gavin Newsom released a revised budget proposal that halts the progress made in children’s health equity in previous budget cycles.

“Gov. Newsom said this budget lays out a long-term, multi-year strategy. Children’s health equity is always a multi-year strategy,” said Mayra E. Alvarez, president of The Children’s Partnership. “The governor is making a choice to cut the very programs families depend on to raise healthy, thriving children. Instead, California will spend billions of dollars on tax breaks for high-profit corporations.”

While we understand the enormously difficult position the governor is in with the state’s budget deficit, TCP is deeply disappointed that Gov. Newsom did not include funding that would safeguard health care coverage for young children, a thriving wage for community health workers, or reliable internet access for families – all of which would build health equity for historically marginalized communities of color.

California has the resources to create health equity for children and families – now we need the courage. The time is now for California to consider new, progressive revenues rather than weaken the critical services families rely on. Our state has the opportunity to create fair tax policies that will narrow California’s unacceptable racial income and wealth gaps, and advance health equity for children.

Tell Gov. Newsom & Budget Leaders: We Want Continuous Medi-Cal Coverage for Young Children Now!

We are in the final push to urge the governor and California legislators to fund multi-year continuous Medi-Cal coverage for children ages 0-5 in the 2024-2025 budget, which will be decided by mid-June. Funding this already-enacted policy would allow young children to keep their Medi-Cal coverage without gaps or annual renewals.

Tell Gov. Newsom and the legislature to fund continuous Medi-Cal coverage for young children in the final 2024-2025 budget. Doing so will preserve coverage for young children, as well as the investments California already has made in Medi-Cal mental health access, early childhood development and expanded eligibility. All these depend on having the Medi-Cal insurance card.

NEW Policy Brief: Community Health Workers Advancing Child Health Equity

The Children’s Partnership and First 5 Center for Children’s Policy are excited to announce the release of a new policy brief, “Community Health Workers Advancing Child Health Equity: Part II.” The brief outlines how community health workers, promotores and representatives (CHW/P/R) are an anti-racist solution providing support for early childhood development and child health equity.

This brief:

  • Provides an update on Medi-Cal’s CHW benefit implementation
  • Uplifts programs and models across California that are utilizing CHWs to benefit children and families
  • Shares policy recommendations including how California can continue to take successful models to scale, in line with the CHW/P/R coalition
  • Provides a roadmap for advocates to champion reforms that center the contributions of CHWs and address systemic inequities in health care

Drawing insights from TCP’s 2021 CHW brief, this new policy brief highlights 11 programs across California that utilize CHWs to support the health and well-being of families with children in different regions of the state. Each program snapshot discusses practices related to equitably serving families and offers strategies to help policymakers ensure that children, particularly children from marginalized communities, are safe, healthy and ready to learn.

With the release of Gov. Newsom’s revised budget, a call to action in support of CHWs is more important than ever. Download and share the policy brief widely with your networks today.

New Research on Family Experiences with Medi-Cal Renewal

Medi-Cal is a key health equity tool for ensuring California’s children grow up healthy and thrive. Yet staying enrolled can be unnecessarily difficult.

The Children’s Partnership worked with Lake Research Partners to conduct 10 focus groups with parents/guardians and with community enrollment assisters to hear what they had to say about their Medi-Cal renewal experience during the unwinding period. We asked families of color and people with limited English proficiency what works well – and what must change – to keep their kids covered. They also shared their recommendations for how to make Medi-Cal renewals work best for them.

This month, we released two new tools in getting the word out about these real-life experiences and informed recommendations for how to make the system work better for families:

  • A slide deck summarizing families’ experiences, their recommendations for improvements, and TCP’s suggestions to advance those recommendations
  • A two-page advocacy fact sheet featuring key points families have made

If you are interested in TCP presenting some of these findings before your organization or coalition, please contact Kristen Golden Testa at

NEW Immigrant Health, Public Charge & Health Coverage Flyers Now Available

ALL IN for Health, the CA-Protecting Immigrant Families Coalition and the Whole Child Equity Partnership are excited to announce the release of three new and updated health fact sheets. These fact sheets can help advocates, parents, guardians, teachers and others better understand the latest updates in health coverage, Medi-Cal expansion and public charge.

These fact sheets are available in English, Spanish, Punjabi, Tagalog, Traditional Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean.

To help you easily share these resources with your communities, we’ve put together a social media toolkit that includes social media posts and images with key data.

Celebrating AANHPI Heritage Month with Updated ‘A Child is a Child’ Fact Sheets

In recognition of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, TCP released two updated fact sheets in our continuing A Child is a Child series: one on Asian American Children’s Health, and one on Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Children’s Health.

TCP believes that disaggregated data provides a more accurate understanding of the health, strengths and challenges of communities that are often lumped together, creating misleading monoliths that do not fully reflect the rich cultures found in our state. Created in partnership with Asian Resources, Inc., and the Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Data Policy Lab at the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, these two fact sheets attempt to give a clearer picture of AAs and NHPIs in California by highlighting their unique masked health inequities and protective factors.

We hope these fact sheets will be an asset to your advocacy work, and that by highlighting these health factors, we can bring Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander children closer to health equity. Help us advance this goal by using our social media toolkits.

Mental Health, Community Engagement Teams Present at CA School-Based Health Alliance Conference

Jazmín Estevez-Rosas, left, moderates a panel with Angela M. Vázquez, Fiona Lu, and Adrienne Shilton from the California Alliance of Child and Family Services. Photo courtesy of California Alliance of Child and Family Services.

From April 29-30, TCP’s Mental Health Policy as well as Community Engagement and Advocacy teams participated in the California School-Based Health Alliance Conference in Santa Clara.

Presenters from TCP – Fiona Lu, policy intern; Jazmín Estevez-Rosas, policy associate; and Angela M. Vázquez, policy director for mental health – and other co-sponsors of AB 665 (Carrillo), Mental Health Consent Parity for Medi-Cal Youth, facilitated a dialogue to preview new laws around minor consent for outpatient mental health services for youth on Medi-Cal. Conference organizers said the workshop had the most registrant interest, signaling a desire from school-based mental health providers for clear and accurate guidance on how to provide confidential services to young people who need it. Lu shared her personal experience as a youth navigating the Medi-Cal mental health system on her own and how she used that experience to lead a youth coalition of supporters for AB 665. TCP is currently working with the Department of Health Care Services to finalize guidance on AB 665 implementation. Stay tuned for tools and resources!

Jazmín Estevez-Rosas, left, with Oscar Sandoval, Sohna Bruce-Oliver and Fiona Lu at the 2024 CA School-Based Health Alliance Conference in Santa Clara

TCP also provided community-friendly resources to the nearly 900 conference attendees of the California School-Based Health Alliance Conference in Santa Clara. Representing our Community Engagement and Advocacy team, Sohna Bruce-Oliver, associate director of partnerships, and Oscar Sandoval, manager of research and education, offered the nearly 900 attendees, who were mostly school-based staff and counselors, TCP’s latest community education resources. These included a revised public charge roadmap, an updated health coverage flyer, a fact sheet on the latest Medi-Cal expansion, and an informative ‘A Child is a Child’ fact sheet.

Liza Davis, WCEP Represent at Catalyst California’s Water Cooler Conference

Liza Davis, third from right, with members of the Whole Child Equity Partnership at Catalyst California’s Birth to 12th Grade Water Cooler Conference in Sacramento

This year’s Catalyst California Water Cooler Conference, “Bridging Systems to Center Racial Justice for Children and Families,” was held April 24-25 in Sacramento. Liza Davis, TCP’s director of community engagement and advocacy, attended the conference as a representative of the Whole Child Equity Partnership, whose members showed up in force to coordinate and collaborate with state partners and leaders to drive forward whole-child solutions.

At the conference, a multi-disciplinary group of partners came together to discuss important topics that directly impact children’s health outcomes, including addressing the needs of the whole child; creating welcoming, affirming and supportive schools; the need for a diverse educator workforce; and the importance of repair in our communities by way of reparations.

Eva Rivera Presents on Latino Infant Initiative Policy Agenda

An excerpt from the Latino Infant Initiative Policy Agenda

On May 8, Eva Rivera, TCP’s policy director for early childhood development, joined Abriendo Puertas/Opening Doors and UnidosUS as a panelist for an enlightening webinar that dove into the specific challenges and opportunities facing Latine families in California. The conversation focused on state-specific data from the National Latino Family Survey and explored the Latino Infant Initiative Policy Agenda in greater detail.

Founding Board Member Shari Davis Honored for Dedication to Early Childhood Equity

Mayra E. Alvarez, left, with Shari Davis at the Betsy Awards in Santa Monica

On April 28, TCP President Mayra E. Alvarez joined Connections for Children at their annual Betsy Awards to introduce TCP’s founding board chair, Shari Davis, as she was honored with their inaugural Iao Katagiri Community Impact Award. The award celebrates Shari’s decades of advocacy, service and dedication to equitable access for all children to receive quality care and education.

Davis is the co-director of the Santa Monica College Public Policy Institute and an adjunct professor of political science. A long-time education and youth advocate, Davis serves on several community-based committees, including Community for Excellent Public Schools and the Santa Monica Early Childhood Task Force. She is a current board member of Coro Southern California.

After nine years of service and many more in an informal capacity, Davis left TCP’s board at the end of 2023. We are grateful to continue to call her a dear friend and partner in our shared work to advance early childhood equity.

Webinar: Queer & Transgender Immigrant Health in California

Join the CA-Protecting Immigrant Families Outreach and Communications work group on Wednesday, June 26, from 1:30-3 p.m. for “Queer & Transgender Immigrant Health in California: Enrolling in Medi-Cal, Accessing Services, and Filing Complaints.”

This webinar will be led by Plascencia Consulting and include speakers from the California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network and Bay Area Legal Aid. Plascencia Consulting will also present their new Queer and Transgender Immigrant Health brochure and explain how providers and advocates can use it as a tool to support queer and transgender immigrant communities in enrolling in Medi-Cal, accessing affirming services and filing complaints. 

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear case studies and examples of queer and transgender immigrants navigating the health care system. They will also learn about the recent Medi-Cal expansion to include all income-eligible people regardless of age or immigration status, the Medi-Cal renewal process, and the current public charge rule. 

This webinar will be presented in English with live Spanish interpretation available. 

Advocates and community members can register here:

Newsweek Features TCP Response to Gov. Newsom’s Revised May Budget 
Newsweek highlighted TCP’s statement in response to the governor’s revision of the state budget, quoting TCP President Mayra E. Alvarez on our disappointment in his proposed cuts to the programs children and families depend on for their health and well-being while choosing not to require wealthy corporations to pay equitable taxes. Capitol Morning Report (subscription required) also shared Alvarez’s quote from TCP’s statement on the May Revise.

Mayra E. Alvarez Discusses Medi-Cal Renewals, Need for Better System on Univision
On May 6, 2024, TCP President Mayra E. Alvarez appeared on Univision Sacramento to talk about the Medi-Cal unwinding process and the impact on families. Alvarez shed light on the hurdles families – particularly families from marginalized communities – are experiencing as they undergo the Medi-Cal renewal process, as well as the need for the system to work better for families. Univision also shared TCP’s on the broadcast so families can better understand Medi-Cal coverage status and find help if they need it. The segment also referred to a children’s Medicaid enrollment report from TCP partner Georgetown University Center for Children and Families. A Public News Service story, which was picked up by at least 29 other outlets in both English and Spanish, also cited the report and quoted Alvarez on the dire situation for low-income families in California.

Newsweek Quotes Alvarez on Impacts of Gaps in Health Care Coverage on Children
After AB 2956, a TCP co-sponsored bill, was held in Assembly Appropriations earlier this month, Newsweek quoted TCP President Mayra E. Alvarez on the effects on children and families of having gaps in health care coverage, which the bill attempted to avoid. The Latin Times and MSN also quoted Alvarez on this topic.

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