Spring has arrived and that means that the legislative policy and budget committee processes are in full swing. As a result, the NextGen Policy team has been hard at work advancing our 2023 equity and justice priorities. This edition of What’s Next is packed with information about how you can join our advocacy efforts and lend your support for specific legislative measures and budget allocations in the month of April. Several incredible opportunities for you to engage with us are on the horizon including an upcoming informational webinar on the California State Library grants portal; an update and call to action centered on our healthy school meals work; how you can join us in advocating for a new bill to shield students from what is called “institutional or shadow” debt; and several other must-know items curated exclusively for you.
Check out the details below:
★ RSVP for Our California Grants Portal Webinar: On April 24th at 10:30 a.m, we’ll be hosting a one-hour webinar in partnership with team members from the California State Library and the CalNonProfits Association to provide information about and step-by-step strategies for using the California State Grants Portal – the clearinghouse for state funding opportunities. During this webinar, you will hear from experts on how to best access grants and loans currently offered by state agencies and departments; ask questions about how to navigate and utilize the site; find resources that align with your work; and how to identify relevant funding opportunities. Don’t miss out – RSVP for our webinar today!
★ The Latest on Healthy School Meals: It’s no secret that we have been fully committed to fighting against food insecurity for many years! Last session, we worked with the Chef Ann Foundation to help secure $45 million in the California state budget for the Healthy School Food Pathways Program, the first in the nation program dedicated to helping school food workers develop the technical and administrative skills to lead a scratch cook school food program. The Healthy School Food Program continues our efforts to ensure that every student in California has access to fresh, nutritious school meals.
It’s a BIG Week for AB 1160
Today, we are co-hosting a press conference in support of AB 1160 (Pacheco):
“The Protecting Students from Creditor Colleges Act.” We want to thank Assemblymember Blanca Pacheco for authoring this bill and working with student groups, higher education officials, consumer advocates, and grassroots organizations to eliminate the educational and financial harms that come with carrying institutional debt. This is debt such as library fees, parking fees, or other charges owed directly to colleges and universities that prevents students from re-enrolling, graduating, or registering for classes and may be subject to debt collection or tax garnishment. AB 1160 basically asks colleges and universities to work with students to find ways to address issues of institutional debt rather than penalize them with being unable to return to school or subjecting them to debt collection – it is headed to the Assembly Higher Education Committee on April 18th. We’re asking you to join us in our efforts to help protect thousands of students across California from the consequences of institutional debt by tweeting your support for AB 1160.
★ Did You Know? Recently, California made a bold move in the fight for clean energy by passing legislation that will hold the oil industry accountable for price gouging at the pump. NextGen applauds Governor Gavin Newsom, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and Senate President pro Tem Toni Atkins for putting people over profits and standing up to big oil companies.
★ Member Spotlight: NextGen would like to express our gratitude to Senator Angelique Ashby and Assemblymember Isaac Bryan for championing our budget request to fund the implementation of the LEAF Program – Local, Equitable Access to Food (SB 907/Pan)! Their advocacy efforts will help increase the number of certified farmers’ markets in low-income communities around our state, expand EBT access at farmers’ markets, and help ensure that farmers’ markets are able to offer high-quality, fresh produce to all Californians, regardless of income.
★ What’s Next: Today, the California State Legislature returns from Spring Recess. Our NGP team will be working diligently to support and advocate for our priority bills as well as prepare for the next step in the budget process – the May Revise! Learn more at NextGen Policy.
★ Our Mission: NextGen Policy fights for progressive policy change to address environmental, social, racial, and economic inequities through justice-centered legislative advocacy, grassroots partnerships, and democratic civic engagement.