VICTORY! With your help, California’s discriminatory Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule has been repealed! After years of work to rally support and lift up the voices of directly impacted families, 9to5 California and our partner organizations are proud to announce that 130,000 children across the state will now have access to the assistance they need and deserve, instead of being unfairly punished by the Maximum Family Grant rule.
For more than two decades, this rule denied aid to children born into households receiving CalWORKs assistance. It wrongly tried to control the reproductive decisions of poor women by denying assistance to newborns. For 9to5 member Debbie Jaramillo, the MFG rule only allows her assistance for one of her four small children. She explains, “I had worked as a live-in caregiver for my blind grandmother until November, when a bad fall sent Gramma to a nursing home. This changed everything. The job loss led to eviction and to homelessness, with all four kids sleeping in my car.” The impact of this job loss was so devastating, driving Debbie even deeper into poverty, because of the restrictions of the Maximum Family Grant rule. But things are looking up for Debbie, and for families across California. In February, the Salvation Army found shelter for the family and clerical work training for Debbie. Now, with the repeal of the MFG rule, this family will have approximately $400 per month more income, and more realistic hope for a brighter future.
Yvonne Miller, pictured here with her daughter, has been working hard as part of the team of 9to5 Community Interns to collect hundreds of petition signatures, connect with families on CalWORKs, and meet with California’s top elected officials. Yvonne and her two daughters are impacted by the Maximum Family Grant, an “extreme injustice” that motivated her to get involved with 9to5 and fight for its repeal. “An amazing moment for me was speaking at a rally to share my story about the Maximum Family Grant. It was empowering to take a stand and let my voice be heard! I also got to involve my two daughters, who will grow up to be empowered and encouraged women.”
We hope you’ll join Yvonne, Debbie and everyone in the working women’s movement to celebrate this powerful victory!