Governor Newsom Again Fails to Support the Health Equity & Racial Justice Fund
For a second consecutive year, Governor Newsom has declined to invest in a Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund to support transformative community-driven change to reduce health inequities and advance racial justice. Despite strong backing from the Legislature, whose members understand the power of direct investment in community-based organizations (CBOs), our request was denied. The legislators were joined by our ten co-sponsors of the budget request and over 200 community-based organizations, clinics, tribal entities, local health departments. All of our allies know that trusted frontline organizations merit direct public investment because their leadership is required to effectively address health disparities and advance racial justice. Roots of Change believes that by excluding the Fund Governor Newsom lost another golden opportunity to positively address three interlocking challenges: racial justice, food justice and health equity.
California’s budgets are a reflection of our peoples’ values. The co-sponsors of the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund ask, if not now, when will we more stridently seek to heal the divides of race and privilege? Racial injustices abound as evidenced by too frequent murders of black and brown people and other racially motivated crimes. Diet related disease data shows that people of color are disproportionately affected by health inequities, a fact that has become more widely visible to the public since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Health Equity & Racial Justice Fund envisions that direct funding of CBO’s will help those closest to their challenges to advocate at city and county meetings for community food and food as medicine projects, and provide resources to address, at the grassroots, the effects of racial injustices and the multitude of heath inequities.
ROC and our co-sponsors will continue advocating for community led solutions and the need for ongoing funding to support building more just health and social conditions in communities of color across California.
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
Photo credit: Aura Gonzalez, Cultiva La Salud