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    Center on Policy Initiatives

JUNE 2021 NEWS: Celebrating and Reflecting on Juneteenth

In This Issue:

  • Message From Our Executive Director 
  • Policy Advocacy 
  • SEJ Begins! 
  • Coalition Updates 
  • In the Media 
  • Job Opportunities 

Message From Our Executive Director

Last week, Juneteenth was established as a federal holiday. It is the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was created in 1983. This moment has been a long time coming and I am excited for this day. I am also in a reflective mood. For Black people, liberation continues to be a process that Black people fight for. Freedom isn’t a “one moment in time” experience.

At CPI, we think about this news within the context of economic justice, worker justice, and racial justice. When it comes to federal holidays, it is often the case that people of color, especially Black people, are less likely to experience it as a paid holiday than white people. There is a part of me sitting in discomfort with the idea of a federal holiday that commemorates the end of slavery but where many Black people will have to labor while others get a day off to rest. This reflection does not take away from the importance of this day and this moment, but it reminds us that liberation work is complicated and that there is still a long way to go before we are all free.

Passing policies is just one part of the fight. Thoughtful and just implementation is just as important and is often overlooked. In addition to establishing Juneteenth as a federal holiday, we must also implement policies that teach the truth about the Black freedom struggle in schools and other public institutions. We must fight for policies that ensure livable wages, protect voting rights, end police violence, deliver reparations, and provide quality healthcare and housing for Black people.

So, we celebrated Juneteenth, as we do with every win we get, by continuing to fight until we’re all free. We hope you’ll join us.

In solidarity,
Kyra Greene, PhD
Executive Director

VICTORY: Direct Cash Aid For Immigrants

CPI has been advocating for local direct cash aid for immigrants since the beginning of the pandemic, inspired by our statewide work with the Safety Net for All coalition. Earlier this month, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted to approve $10 million in direct cash aid for low-income immigrants excluded from federal and state benefits due to their immigration status.  

Immigrant workers have been among the most impacted by the pandemic, representing about 1 in 4 Californians who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. Immigrant workers were simultaneously overrepresented among workers in frontline jobs. The workers who will benefit from this assistance do some of the most important work in our communities: preparing our food, maintaining our homes, and taking care of our loved ones. These jobs in the care economy could not be done remotely. Many of us had the privilege to quarantine safely because of workers like them.  

We’re grateful to our partners in the Invest in San Diego Families coalition for advocating alongside us! 

Students for Economic Justice (SEJ)

This week marks the beginning of the Students for Economic Justice program! Join us in welcoming 8 new SEJ fellows to the CPI family. Read our latest blog to get to know each fellow, the campaigns they will be working on, and ways you can support the program. 

Community Budget Alliance (CBA)

At the June 14th meeting, the San Diego City Council voted to approve Mayor Todd Gloria’s Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) budget. Residents submitted 151 e-comments, sent 125 emails, and made 82 calls to support the CBA’s community priorities and to advocate for reducing the police budget by at least $10 million. On June 21st, Mayor Todd Gloria signed the $4.6 billion budget for FY22.

We’re frustrated that the City Council did not reduce the police budget. We also know it’s never easy to change the system. The fight for a People’s Budget does not stop and we will continue to push the City of San Diego to provide care, housing, living wages, environmental justice and all the other things that truly make us safe. 

This year marks the 9th year of budget advocacy by the Community Budget Alliance. For over six months, we have advocated alongside our partners in the Community Budget Alliance for a FY22 People’s Budget. We are proud of and grateful to everyone who has participated in this year’s budget process. Thank you for continuing to show up. 

Stay tuned for the next steps with the CBA by following us on Facebook and Instagram. 

Invest in San Diego Families (ISDF)

Thank you to everyone that participated in the San Diego County budget hearings earlier this month. We fought for and won so much, but our fight is not over. We need to ensure that all our community wins are funded and that the County budget is transparent. Join us in calling for an audit of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department budget. We need transparency, and public accountability. It’s time for change.

Save the Date: The Board of Supervisors will vote on the county budget on Tuesday, June 29. The best way to stay up to date on actions is by following ISDF on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

ICYMI: Our two budget action trainings are now available on our website.

We are currently hiring for the following positions. Click to learn more:  

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As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, CPI relies on the generous support of our community to operate. If you would like to support our fight for economic and social justice, please consider becoming a monthly donor or making a one-time donation. Thank you so much!

Written by CPI San Diego