While people are basking in "kinder, gentler" Donald Trump, the California legislature is taking steps to rectify a situation which puts the state's economy in peril.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure, California has the nation's highest rate of child poverty. Two million California children live in poverty, including one-third of African-American and Latino children.
Assemblywoman Autumn R. Burke has introduced legislation to stop and reverse that trend. The Lifting Children and Families Out Of Poverty Act (AB 1520) would commit the state to reduce child poverty by 50 percent over the next 20 years.
While Donald Trump waxed rhapsodic last night about making sure "no one fell through the cracks", his actions, and those of his party, put the lie to his rhetoric. Repealing the ACA without an adequate replacement will drive millions to choose between healthcare and food. Voucherizing Medicare and Medicaid will likewise impoverish millions. Bumping military spending at the expense of social programs is no way to make sure no one falls through the cracks.
These are the facts: Right now Washington is in the grips of a party which is determined to send us back to a time before we had social programs. It is gripped by a party with an ideology which is foreign to who we are now. It is in the throes of a party which doesn't see that we owe each other anything; we're atomized individuals, moving about the world on our own.
California's glaring poverty rate is a result of its own success. With an economy which ranks 6th in the world, the cost of living is through the roof, trapping many of its citizens in penury. But, here's the difference: a Democratic government recognizes that something must be done, and must be done now before the problem overwhelms the state budget. This is a start. In Los Angeles County, Measure H is on next week's ballot. It proposes to raise the sales tax to fund homeless programs for the next ten years; the county is the epicenter of this nation's homeless crisis. Again, this is what happens when you have people in government who look for solutions to real problems, not to imagined ones.
Sure, these solutions don't have the cachet of storming downtown Los Angeles or San Francisco's financial district and looting and pillaging the representatives of Wall Street. They also don't demonize the Other, as Trump voters love. But this is California. We know what hate looks like. Proposition 187 was a wake-up call for liberals in the state. It was the beginning of the end of the California Republican Party and its failed policies. We're doing what it seems a good chunk of the rest of the country has stopped doing: striving to perfect what is imperfect. After a night of empty promises, I am again glad I live at the epicenter of the Resistance.