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What We’re Doing: A Roundup of First 5 LA Events and Activities

#Billion4Babies: Joining a small army of vocal advocates from the Early Childhood Education Coalition, First 5 LA's Senior Policy Strategist Becca Patton and Vice President of Programs Christina Altmayer (above) gave public comment on April 5 at California's Joint Budget Hearing. The group urged lawmakers to support a $1 billion increase in the FY 18/19 budget for early childhood programming. To watch the full hearing including public comment click here.

Sleepless in Seattle: First 5 LA’s Health Systems Department recently joined friends from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for the 9th Annual Help Me Grow National Forum in Seattle, WA. Each year the forum allows HMG affiliates from across the country to network and learn from each other’s innovative approaches to strengthening early identification and intervention systems. Keynote speaker for the event was Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, who first gained notoriety for her TED talk about childhood trauma and recently published the book "The Deepest Well:  Healing the Effects of Long-Term Childhood Trauma." For more information about the event follow #HMGForum2018 on Twitter. For more about First 5 LA's investment in Help Me Grow-LA, click here.

Liberty and Social Justice for All: First 5 LAers recently attended the Upton Sinclair Awards Dinner, hosted by the Liberty Hill Foundation at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The organization awarded Congressman John Lewis and  Elizabeth Levitt Hirsch, Levitt Foundation president for their social justice activism. First 5 LA's attendance at the dinner was significant because it symbolized the beginning of a partnership with the Liberty Hill Foundation. They will begin working with First 5 LA in the 0-5 space and we will join them in using a social justice lens. Click here to view the speeches from the event.

Legislative Luncheon: First 5 LA's Senior Government Affairs Strategist Jamie Zamora recently attended the City of Duarte’s Chamber of Commerce Legislative Luncheon for Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-West Covina) at Westminster Gardens. During the lunch, Rubio provided an update on her legislative agenda focusing on gun control, increasing funding for K-12 mental health counselors, supporting increases in Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), and the importance of workforce development programs. Jamie was able to connect with her to discuss how First 5 LA's Public Policy and Government Affairs Department wants to be a resource to her in the district and in Sacramento as it relates to any Early Care and Education-related policy or community programming.

Feeling Book-ish: For the 9th year in a row, First 5 LA had a presence at the L.A. Times Festival of Books this last weekend. Held on the campus of USC, the festival welcomes an estimated 150,000 people a year. First 5 LA had a children's booth and two breastfeeding/diaper changing stations, and we again partnered with local nonprofits Breastfeed L.A. and Jumpstart to provide professional advice and support for parents at the booths.

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