Today, you and I have the opportunity to improve the well being of California’s most needy babies and their families, by increasing their access to diapers. California Assembly Bill 1516 (Gonzalez D-80), aka The Diaper Act, will be heard before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday August 4th. This “Little Bill That Could” has already passed two Assembly Committees, an Assembly floor vote, and the Senate Human Services Committee. In the last few months we’ve been working hard behind the scenes with fellow advocates to support the bill. I testified in April and our board chair, Allison, will testify at the August hearing. The bill has been well received at the Capitol and our dream is to send it to Governor Brown’s office. First, we need to get it out of Senate Appropriations on August 4th.
What will AB 1516 do? AB 1516 would provide an additional $80 monthly supplement for children 0-2 years, who are living in CalWORKs-assisted households. It would ensure that parents can meet their children’s diapering needs in order to access childcare, work and job training. It is the FIRST and ONLY statehouse proposal in the nation that offers a large-scale solution to address the diapering needs of our most vulnerable children. Remember, diapers cost on average of $75-$100/month. That’s a lot of dough when you are struggling. In the last 5 years we’ve shared heartbreaking stories about moms choosing to forego food in order to buy diapers, moms missing work/school and children denied early learning opportunities because of a lack of diapers.
Alysia (WPI Fellow), Shelby (witness), Jenny (WPI Fellow), Anna (HAMO), & Caroline (LA Diaper Drive) at the Capitol in June.
This 2-minute video was produced by a few graduate students in Stanford’s d.school’s course Design Thinking and Public Policy. Shout out to Sarah and the entire class!