California foundations call for addressing state's racial inequities

California foundations call for addressing state's racial inequities

More than thirty California-based grantmakers have signed an open letter calling for "bold steps to ensure a future based on economic inclusion, racial equity, and compassionate humanity."

"On behalf of philanthropic leaders and in solidarity with dozens of labor, community organizing, faith-based, policy, research, and academic leaders from across California," the letter states, "we stand together to urge the prioritization of critical issues — health, justice, workers, education, and housing — as the state makes critical budget decisions."

To ensure that the state "can rebuild equitably and support the long-term sustainability of [its] people and economy," the letter calls on legislators and business leaders to generate additional revenues by closing existing loopholes in the tax code, capturing new resources from those who have benefited most from the robust California economy, and re-direct funds from incarceration-focused efforts; target resources to communities of color and other low-income people throughout the post-pandemic recovery process; extend to immigrants full California residency with all its benefits, including access to safety-net programs and economic relief — benefits, the letter notes, that immigrants already support through their taxes; make major investments to protect struggling tenants and landlords, stabilize precariously housed tenants, and rebuild the affordable housing supply; and invest in the health and safety of working Californians. 

Signatories to the letter include Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. FundHispanics in Philanthropy, and the Akonadi, California CommunityCalifornia Health CareCalifornia WellnessEast Bay CommunityHeising-SimonsJames IrvineLatino CommunityLiberty HillSan Francisco, and Weingart foundations. 

"California has been leading the nation in resisting the drive to division, xenophobia, and austerity," the letter concludes. "Now, we must show that we believe that we are a community, that ensuring the health and well-being of one another leads to a more resilient state. We must stand-up together for an inclusive and equitable future."

(Photo credit: San Francisco Foundation)