Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund Co-Sponsors
For Immediate Release
January 10, 2022
Contact: Monika Lee, 858-353-7271
Sacramento, CA – The Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund Co-Sponsors (listed below) released the following statement in response to Governor Newsom’s budget proposal (FY 2022-2023).
“With yet another historic surplus, the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund Co-Sponsors are extremely disappointed that our budget request was once again excluded from the Governor’s proposed budget. We cannot continue to delay much-needed, ongoing funding directly to community-based organizations, clinics, and tribal organizations. These organizations play a distinctive role in identifying local equity and justice issues and developing effective local solutions to address them.
“Last year, Californians were promised at least $300 million for public health after the legislature’s failed attempt to push Governor Newsom to agree to fund public health infrastructure and community-based organizations directly for health equity and racial justice projects. Today, we expected no less than $100 million to flow to our historic, bold, and innovative fund. Resources provided directly to community-based organizations, clinics, and tribal organizations, are necessary given that community-based organizations have proven to be a critical and vital component of our state’s public health system needed to appropriately and adequately support California’s diverse populations.
“We greatly appreciate recently announced funding to bolster our public health infrastructure and one-time funding to increase our testing, vaccination, outreach, and education efforts, these fall far short of what is needed to support communities of color, low-income communities, LGBTQ+ people, and other historically excluded people who experience worse health outcomes and shorter life spans.
“Proposals in the budget continue to be top-down, with the Administration prescribing both the issues and the solutions. That approach has not been successful in eliminating health disparities. Community-based organizations, clinics, and tribal organizations have their own impactful, self-determined, and community-specific assets and innovative programs that deserve recognition and funding. They are at the forefront of addressing the health and racial disparities on the ground. State data does not always reflect local data and specific local needs, which community-based organizations, clinics, and tribal organizations are directly tied into and knowledgeable about.
“We are all essential to public health. Community-based organizations, clinics, and tribal organizations are more than testing and vaccination sites, they are food distributors, racial justice innovators, restorative justice promoters, climate justice incubators, and more. They are the frontline voices at city, county, and state meetings, advocating for equitable processes, funding, and accountability to these reforms for racial justice and health equity within our systems and in our communities.
“We look forward to working with the Administration and legislature – which voted overwhelmingly to support the Fund in June of last year, to make this budget request to advance health equity and racial justice for all Californians a reality in this year’s budget.”
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