When my husband left our marriage, I found myself without an income and with two young children to raise and support by myself. I remember tax credits being a huge help. As I took one job after another to pay the bills, I understood for the first time what too many families face: having to choose between buying food, clothes, medical care, or utilities.
When my parents died unexpectedly, my siblings and I inherited their retirement savings. Carefully managed, and living very frugally, this was enough to keep my family afloat.
I am aware that this will not happen for most families in poverty. Especially those who have for generations been pulled down by institutionalized racism, being denied equal access to the GI Bill, housing, education, medical care, and even life and liberty.
Please use the California budget excess to lift families out of poverty, beginning with African Americans, First Nations peoples, hard-working immigrants, and other marginalized groups. Let us begin this healing for the benefit of us all.