East Coast Pre–K: After introducing a package of bills to increase preschool access in the state (click here for more information on the bills), California Assemblymember Kevin McCarty, along with California Superintendent of Public Instruction-elect Tony Thurmond, led a delegation of early childhood education advocates on an early December tour of successful pre–K programs on the East Coast. First 5 LA’s Vice President of Policy and Strategy Kim Pattillo Brownson joined the delegation and traveled to preschool programs in Boston and New Jersey that offer targeted Pre–K for All programs, and New York City, which offers a universal Pre–K for All program. While not an official part of the tour, the delegation finished with a final visit in Los Angeles at Montara Elementary Expanded Transitional Kindergarten program. For more insight on the tour, follow the hashtag #PreK4AllTour on Twitter, or click here for First 5 LA’s “Twitter moment.”
Improving Outcomes for Black Infant Health: First 5 LA recently announced a new partnership with the Pritzker Foundation and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health's (DPH) Center for Health Equity to focus on reducing African-American infant mortality rates in L.A. County, where black babies are three times more likely to die in their first year of life as white babies. Melissa Franklin of Growth Mindset Communications was named as a fellow to implement key components of DPH's black infant mortality reduction plan. Coinciding with the announcement, Franklin co-convened a "kick-off" event in early December co-sponsored by First 5 LA and DPH at the Center at Cathedral Plaza in downtown Los Angeles, which welcomed over 150 participants. Follow #pathwaytoequity on Twitter for images from that event, or click here for KPCC’s coverage of the event.
End Child Poverty: A cross-section of California leaders, including First 5 LA’s Vice President of Policy & Strategy Kim Pattillo Brownson, stood on the steps of the state Capitol on Dec. 3 for a press conference to publicly commit to taking the next steps needed to implement the recently released plan to end child poverty in the state. Pattillo Brownson is the early childhood subcommittee chairperson for the “Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty Task Force” that developed the plan. The report concludes that California must significantly increase funding to strengthen early child care and development, housing, health care and the overall social safety net for low-income families. Click here for an article about the event or click here to watch the entire press conference on Facebook video.
Welcome New Legislators: Earlier in the month Policy & Government Affairs team members Jamie Zamora and Anais Duran traveled to Sacramento for the State Legislature swearing-in ceremonies. On behalf of First 5 LA, they congratulated the new members of the Los Angeles delegation, including State Senators Susan Rubio (SD-22), Maria Elena Durazo (SD-24) and Bob Archuleta (SD-32), as well as Assemblymember Christy Smith (AD-38). They also attended a press conference in opposition of the Trump Administration's proposed “public charge” rule, where Assemblymember Rob Bonta (AD-18), Asian Pacific Islander Caucus members and other lawmakers introduced a resolution to condemn the expansion of the definition of public charge. See below for more on First 5 LA’s position on the “public charge” rule and the press conference.
Pictured L–R: [Top L] Senior Government Affairs Strategist Jamie Zamora; Senator Susan Rubio; Government Affairs Strategist Anais Duran. [Top R] Jamie Zamora; UCLA’s Assistant Director of State Government Relations; Assemblymember Christy Smith; Anais Duran. [Bottom L] Jamie Zamora, Assemblymember Rob Bonta; Anais Duran. [Bottom R] Jamie Zamora; Anais Duran; Senator Maria Elena Durazo.