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Two African Americans appointed to the California Complete
Count Committee for the 2020 Census
Regina Brown Wilson
Charlene Muhammad | California Black Media
Two African-Americans have been appointed to the California Complete Count Committee for the 2020 federal census. Governor Edmund Brown Jr. announced creation of the diverse 25-member committee on April 13. The panel of community members will guide outreach to help ensure every Californian is counted in the upcoming census.
“It is vitally important for California to do everything it can to ensure that every Californian is counted in the upcoming census,” said Governor Brown.
Regina Brown Wilson of Sacramento brings her skills as executive director and chair of California Black Media, and a former statewide education and faith-based outreach manager for Census 2010. Wilson is a graduate of Wilberforce University with a degree in communications.
"I thank the governor for getting a jump start on the census and understanding all that is at stake in the form or representation and resources. In particular, the African-American community has been a vulnerable population and it’s my desire to ensure this community and other hard to count communities are informed, organized and engaged for the 2020 Census,” said Wilson.
Alex Johnson of Los Angeles, managing director at Californians for Safety and Justice, has served as executive director at Children’s Defense Fund-California. He was assistant senior deputy for education and public safety in the office of Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, where he also served as deputy for education and public safety.
“Honored to be appointed by Governor Jerry Brown to serve as a member of the California Complete Count Committee. This body is tasked with devising an outreach strategy for the 2020 Census and ensuring that ALL Californians are counted by the federal government,” said Jones on his Facebook page.
Johnson was an attorney at the New York City Department of Education and an assistant district attorney in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office.
Johnson is president of the Los Angeles County Board of Education and a member of the Arts for Incarcerated Youth Network Board of Directors and the Wiley Center for Speech and Language Development Board. He earned a Juris Doctor degree from the American University College of Law. The California Complete Count Committee will be coming together to have its first public meeting in May.
New Democrats Introduce Fiscally Responsible Savings Account
SACRAMENTO –The California New Democrats introduced landmark legislation to create a new, more flexible state savings account to weather the state’s boom-and-bust revenue cycle and insulate Californians from the drastic cuts made during recessions. The measure, Assembly Bill 1740, will establish a complementary account to the state’s existing “Rainy Day Fund.” This proposal is consistent with the Assembly Democrats’ “Blueprint for a Responsible Budget,” released in January.
“If we don’t save during the good times, we will inevitability be forced to make cuts to critical services during the bad. Education, public safety, and other important government services will all be on the chopping block without sufficient reserves to weather us through the next recession,” the New Democrats said in a statement.
In 2014, voters overwhelmingly approved Proposition 2, a measure which strengthened the state’s existing Budget Stabilization Account (BSA) by increasing the amount of money that the State can save when the state is in the green. In January, the governor proposed fully funding the BSA to its constitutional cap of $13.5 billion, meaning that in future years, the Legislature will not be able to save any additional money to protect against cuts to vital services that Californians depend on.
Since the year 2000, the state has had two, multi-year recessions: the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s (which cost the state approximately $80 billion over three years) and more recently, the Great Recession (which cost the state approximately $115 billion over four years). California’s chief non-partisan financial analyst believes that the state will need $20 billion in savings to battle a mild recession, or $40 billion in savings to battle a moderate recession.
The current BSA, even fully funded by the Governor at $13.5 billion, is a little more than half of what California would need for a mild recession. AB 1740 will help close the savings gap shortage, by providing another, optional savings account for the Legislature to utilize without tying up funds for infrastructure expenditures.
“Just as families throughout our state struggle to live within their means, so, too, should government,” The New Democrats’ statement said. “When times are good, we save, so that when times are bad, we aren’t forced to choose between a good education for our children and offering healthcare services to our seniors. AB 1740 is a long-term reform that will help ensure that future generations are not saddled with our debt or forced to make severe cuts to education and other important programs. We look forward to working with our legislative colleagues and the Governor to put our state on a strong fiscal path and preserve the gains we have made over the past years.”
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