As a result of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, a few individuals and corporations are now allowed to donate unprecedented amounts of money to political campaigns. But with unlimited amounts of money comes unlimited access to politicians. And with unlimited access comes the capacity to control politics and direct the course of our democracy, economy and collective future.
There’s nothing wrong with supporting politicians or lobbying—it’s a natural and necessary part of a working democracy. But, what if donating and lobbying become so skewed that the very foundation of our democracy is compromised?
After all, who is lobbying for low-income, working women? Who’s looking out for them and making sure they’re at the table when decisions that impact
them and their communities are made?
We are doing our best to fill that void. We are making grants to grassroots organizations like Parent Voices, California Partnership and Lifetime, enabling them to lobby in Sacramento. We are building relationships with elected officials and nurturing women’s rights champions in our state capital.
We are pressuring, persuading and educating our policymakers and we are raising awareness among voters about issues that affect low-income women and children. We are training grassroots women leaders to write and pass legislation as well as to hold our legislators accountable to the communities they represent.
Our goal is to not only increase our own capacity; our goal is to increase the capacity and the coordination of the entire economic justice movement.
And that kind of work takes money. Social change at this scale needs sustained funding. Social change at this scale needs time and nurturing, its fire lovingly tended and stoked. Social change at this scale needs champions
who refuse to back down and who dare to dream regardless of how long it may take and how difficult the road ahead may be.
We are proud to share that thanks to you—your ambition, your vision and your passion—we have raised $3.3 million this year to advance economic security of women in California. Your generosity has helped fund our:
- Women’s Policy Institute, which so far has trained 281 women and resulted in 20 laws that benefit women and their families;
- Stand with Women program, which we have used to advocate loudly for reinvesting in our tattered social safety net;
- Statewide grantmaking, which totaled $2.4 million in both Foundation and giving circle-directed grants.
Together, we can have a huge impact. Civic engagement is not out there. It’s right here. It’s Lourdes, Mari, Maria Luna, Bunmi and Merle. These women, as part of their organizations and in coalition with others, have made real, measurable change this year, from passing the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights to investing in effective organizations.
But, most important, civic engagement is you. Will you continue contributing your ideas, partnership and resources on behalf of low-income women and families? Will you help us create a state where the voices of women are more