Health Equity and Racial Justice Advocates Outraged at Lack of Funding for Communities to Address Disparities

Author Details

Monika Lee

Associate Communications Director

Organization: California Pan-Ethnic Health Network

Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund Co-Sponsors
For Immediate Release
June 27, 2022
Contact: Monika Lee, 858-353-7271

Sacramento, CA – For a second consecutive year, Governor Newsom has declined to invest directly in the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund to support transformative community-driven change to reduce health inequities and advance racial justice. Despite strong backing from the legislature, direct investment in community-based organizations, clinics, and tribal organizations to do what they do best: address health disparities and advance racial justice, was blocked once again. 

Our budgets are a reflection of our values. The co-sponsors of the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund and over 200 supporting organizations ask, if not now, when will Governor Newsom make racial justice and transformative, community-led programs a priority?  Not after a pandemic that took over a million lives, disproportionately those of people of color? Not after George Floyd and a thousand other instances of profound racial injustice? When will it be time to start investing directly in empowering communities to build a different story? 

For two years in a row, since the racial justice uprisings in 2020, the nation has witnessed the dire need for transformational programs initiated by communities closest to the challenges in their neighborhoods, from reducing excess maternal mortality rates for Black mothers, to empowering communities to advocate at city and county meetings, to providing resources to survivors of hate crimes, and more. 

Both years, the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund has had the full support of the legislature, including Senator Pro Tem Atkins, Speaker Rendon, Assemblymember Ting, Senator Skinner, Assemblymember Gipson, and Assemblymember Arambula. This year, the Senate and Assembly proposed $75 million in ongoing annual funding for the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund. 

To have Governor Newsom once again strip out funding for community-based organizations, clinics, and tribal organizations is devastating. Two years of historic state budget surpluses, during which the rich got richer and the underserved still get crumbs, is beyond incomprehensible.

The co-sponsors will continue advocating for community-led solutions and the need for ongoing funding to support building more just health and social conditions in communities of color across California.

Full list of co-sponsors: 

Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy, and Leadership
Black Women for Wellness
California Black Women’s Health Project
California Black Health Network
California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
Latinas for Reproductive Justice
Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
Public Health Advocates
Public Health Institute
Roots of Change
Roots Community Health Center