Since we last touched base, the NextGen Team has been very busy. Among other things, we have held rallies in support of President Biden’s federal student loan cancellation program; been continuing to meet with state Senators and Assembly members about our bill and budget priorities, participated in the state Digital Equity Plan working group process, and begun working on a climate research paper related to vehicle miles traveled. These are just a few of the items we’ve been working on in our efforts to make California more equitable, prosperous, and inclusive. Please keep scrolling for a peek at this new edition of What’s Next:
★ California is on a Path to Make Insulin More Affordable: On his recent state of the state tour, Governor Newsom detailed more of his plans to use California’s purchasing power to help make prescription drug prices more affordable! His announcement focused on the newly created CalRX program, which NGP supported in last year’s budget process. The program has contracted with the manufacturing company CIVICA, which will make insulin available at $30 a prescription to all who need it. The overall goals of the program are to manufacture 2 out of the 3 most utilized insulin products for diabetic patients and start production in 2024. The Governor also announced that California will seek to manufacture Naloxone, which is used to reverse opioid overdoses, to increase supplies and keep prices down across the state. More information can be found on the official CalRX site.
★ Save the Date for AB 1160: Join us on Monday, April 10th, as we co-host a press conference to answer all of your questions about the Protecting Students from Creditor Colleges Act (AB 1160 – Pacheco). For those who don’t already know, AB 1160 protects students from the economic harms associated with accumulated institutional debt – library, parking, lab, and other fees charged by universities. Higher education institutions frequently withhold degrees, deny registration, use third party debt collectors, and cause financial harms to students instead of attempting to assist students who find themselves with institutional debt! We’ll be in touch soon on how you can attend this upcoming press conference.
★ Thank You to Our LEAF Champions: NextGen is proud to thank Senator Angelique Ashby and Assemblymember Isaac Bryan for championing our budget request to implement the LEAF Program – Local, Equitable Access to Food (SB 907 – Pan)! The LEAF Program was signed into law last year, but remains unfunded despite receiving overwhelming support in the State Legislature. The budget efforts of Senator Ashby and Assemblymember Bryan will help expand certified farmers markets around our state and help ensure that farmers markets are able to offer high-quality, fresh produce to all Californians, regardless of income. Stay tuned for more information on the LEAF Program, including how you can join us and show support.
Our Senior Climate Policy Advisor David Weiskopf recently wrote a CalMatters article about the importance of how investments in active and public transportation programs will help the state meet our climate goals.
★ Did You Know? President Biden recently announced an Executive Order which aims to help advance racial equity across the nation! We are encouraged by the President’s bold action and look forward to learning how the federal efforts will complement our own work on justice and inclusivity on behalf of all historically underserved communities in California.
★ Member Spotlight: Our Executive Director, Arnold Sowell Jr., recently joined Senator Monique Limón and a solid coalition of dedicated advocates at a press conference in support of SB 846! This bill enhances California’s automatic voter registration system and will make it easier for many of our state’s 4.6 million unregistered voters, who are disproportionately young, low-income, and people of color, to register to vote.
★ What’s Next: We’ll be sharing our final shoutouts for Women’s History Month 2023 – honoring leaders who have made a positive impact in our communities and state as well as across the country. Check out the NGP Women’s History Month page for the complete list of our honorees!
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.