PICO California

PICO California is the largest grassroots congregation-based community-organizing network in California. Nineteen local PICO federations organize in 73 cities, 35 school districts, and in more than one-half of the state's Senate and Assembly districts, reaching from San Diego to Placer County. Together, PICO federations represent 450,000 families of diverse economic, racial, ethnic, and religious backgrounds across the state. We are part of the PICO National Network, which includes organizations in 16 states. Since 1993, PICO California has been organizing to bring the voices and concerns of working families to the statewide policy arena. We build upon our deep local work to increase healthcare access, improve educational outcomes, reduce violence, increase opportunities for youth, and keep people in their homes, leveraging the collective knowledge and power of local communities to inform and influence state policy and budget priorities.

Legislative Advocacy

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  • California KidsWell Partners Comment on Governor’s Budget Proposal

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    CA: California KidsWell partners, Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund-CA, PICO California, and The Children’s Partnership, issued a press release along with two other statewide organizations on the governor’s proposed budget. The press release notes a missed opportunity to expand Medi-Cal coverage to immigrants newly eligible for “deferred action” status, disappointment in maintained cuts to Medi-Cal provider rates, and excitement for a proposal to expand a county pediatric palliative care pilot program. The organizations call on the Governor and Legislature to create a system that will truly cover all children in California regardless of income or immigration status.

  • California KidsWell Partners Advocate to Help Children and Families Maintain Medi-Cal Coverage

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    CA: KidsWell grantees, Children Now, PICO California, The Children’s Partnership, and Children’s Defense Fund – California, joined the California Coverage & Health Initiatives and the United Way of California on a statement advocating for Senate Bill (SB) 18. SB 18 would require the state to accept private foundation funds and matching federal funds to help children and families maintain their Medi-Cal coverage. The California Endowment has already offered $6 million which, should the bill become law, would be matched by $6 million in federal funds. The bill was passed by the Appropriations Committee and will now head to the Assembly floor.

  • California KidsWell Partners Circulate Advocate for the Renewal of CHIP Funding

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    CA: KidsWell California grantees, Children Now, PICO California, The Children’s Partnership, and the Children’s Defense Fund – California, wrote a memo to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer as Congress considers renewing CHIP funding, which expires in 2015. The memo recommends that CHIP funding be renewed for at least four more years, supports and highlights the importance of the “CHIP bump” as an investment in children’s health care, highlights the renewal of CHIP funding as an opportunity to improve and realize program efficiencies, and calls for renewal as soon as possible.  

  • Kidswell Partners Support Bill to Strengthen Stakeholder Input for Children in Medi-Cal

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    MomsRising, CA: Over 50 organizations, including KidsWell grantees, MomsRising, Children Now, Children’s Defense Fund – California, PICO California, and The Children’s Partnership, signed onto a letter to the California Legislature strongly supporting the passage of AB 357 to modify the name, scope, and structure of the Healthy Families Advisory Panel. The letter strongly urges the legislature to support the bill as a way to ensure providers, families, and stakeholders representing enrollees have a voice to address issues affecting children in Medi-Cal.

  • PICO CA Releases Statement Criticizing Governor Brown’s Revised Budget

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    CA: PICO California released a statement about the shortcomings of Governor Brown’s revised 2014-2015 budget.  The statement addresses the budget’s failure to increase Medi-Cal provider rates and coverage options for uninsured undocumented children and adults.  
  • KidsWell CA Grantees Advocate for Increased Children’s Health Funding in CA Budget

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    CA: On behalf of Children Now, the Children’s Defense Fund-CA (CDF-CA), PICO California, and other children’s health advocacy organizations in California, Wendy Lazarus, founder and co-president of The Children’s Partnership (TCP), issued a statement criticizing Governor Brown’s 2014-2015 budget proposal for not allocating sufficient resources to ensure children’s health.  Though Lazarus acknowledges the inclusion of $17.5 million for pediatric dental services outreach, the statement emphasizes the need to increase funding to: bolster Medi-Cal provider reimbursement rates; strengthen access to care; and restore programs for high-risk infants and preventive dental and mental health services.  As reported by The Sacramento Bee, Michelle Stillwell-Parvensky, a policy and communications associate for CDF-CA, and Corey Timpson, executive director of PICO California, also issued statements advocating for increased funding for children’s health.
  • KidsWell California Released Statement in Response to Budget Omitting Autism Services for Children

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    CA: The Children’s Defense Fund – California, The Children’s Partnership, and Children Now released a statement in response to the budget deal reached by Governor Brown and the legislature which failed to include $50 million in funding for Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) services for children with autism in Medi-Cal. The advocates stated that, due to the decision, hundreds of children with autism will lose access to needed services. “… at a time when the state’s fiscal outlook is improving, it is unjust to pass a budget that continues to deprive children of medically necessary care and causes serious harm to children with autism and their families,” said Jamila Iris Edwards, Northern California Director of Children’s Defense Fund-California. “The State has broken its promise that no child would lose access to critical health care in the Healthy Families transition. The Governor and Legislature must act quickly to remedy the current situation and ensure these children get the services they need to grow up healthy and ready to learn,”.
  • KidsWell Grantees Give California Health Department a C-Minus on Moving Kids to Medi-Cal

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    CA: The KidsWell California Grantees submitted a letter to Cindy Mann, Deputy Administrator of CMS and Director of CMCS, providing a status report on the state’s progress and concerns they have on the transition of beneficiaries from Healthy Families to Medi-Cal. In a press release the grantees gave the California Department of Health Care Services a report card of a C-minus on the progress of the transition. Jenny Kattlove of The Children’s Partnership was featured in a HealthyCal.org article on her research on the Denti-Cal program and the possible dental crisis when an estimated one million children enroll in the program in 2014.
  • Better that Budget! KidsWell California Asked Governor Brown to Allocate More Money in the State Budget to Improving Kids' Health Care

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    CA: In response to Governor Brown’s state budget proposal, California KidsWell Grantees issued a statement urging the governor and state legislature to continue to devote funds to address health care needs of California children. The grantees specifically requested that the state allocate revenue to work towards improving health care for children and to preserve a basic health care safety net for individuals who remain uninsured.
  • KidsWell California Partners Issued a Statement of Disappointment in Response to the Legislative Session's Lack of Action Regarding the Healthy Families Transition

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    CA: The Children's Partnership, Children Now, CDF-CA, California Coverage & Health Initiatives, PICO California and United Ways of California issued a statement of disappointment in response to the close of California’s legislative session stating that it was “a missed opportunity to secure the $200 million in desperately needed revenues from the Managed Care Organization (MCO) assessment and to delay or stop the pending transition of children from the Healthy Families Program [California’s Children’s Health Insurance Program] to Medi-Cal [California’s Medicaid Program].”
  • PICO Issued Statement on Medicaid Expansion

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    PICO issued a statement urging individuals to participate in PICO’s pledge to press all state governments to extend the protections and benefits of health coverage to lower-income families through fully participating in Medicaid expansion.
  • KidsWell California Announced Support for Bright Line Alternative

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    Forty National and California advocates including Children Now, PICO California, The Children's Partnership, and the Children's Defense Fund - CA issued a statement to Governor Brown in support of the "Bright-Line" alternative to the children's health budget proposal. This alternative option would only transfer "Bright Line" children with family incomes up to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL).
  • PICO California Released Report on the Family Affordability Glitch

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    PICO California released a report on the Family Affordability Glitch summarizing information collected from meetings with staff representing Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein, to learn whether Senators are aware of the glitch and if they have a plan to fix it. The report provides an analysis of the meetings and encourages other PICO Federations to contact senators and state representatives about this issue. In addition, PICO California released a fact sheet providing an overview of the Family Affordability Glitch.

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