Dear Assembly Budget Subcommittee 4 on State Administration,
We applaud the leadership of the Subcommittee 4 Chair for convening this hearing on the 2020-21 May Revision Proposals on State Administration.
We urge you to please protect some of the most vulnerable in our state and take steps now to ensure that undocumented immigrants are part of the state's COVID-19 economic recovery and revitalization efforts by preserving and strengthening the $10 million SEED Initiative in the Governor's May Revise.
Our organization, Faith and Community Empowerment (FACE), has been a leading advocate and voice for the Asian American community connecting church and community. Since 2001, we have successfully advocated for many underserved including the Korean and Asian American communities who are often overlooked and have introduced many initiatives including homeownership, jobs, mental health, domestic violence, clean energy, capacity building, healthy relationships and youth workforce program working with at risk and adjudicated youth as well as a voice for immigration reform locally and nationally.
With a workforce composed of 10% undocumented workers, California can and will play a pivotal role in modeling what an inclusive COVID-19 economic recovery program can and should look like. The SEED Initiative will help revitalize California’s economy and ensure that vulnerable immigrants who face significant barriers to employment -- especially those who are undocumented and Limited English Proficient (LEP) -- have access to micro-grants and effective training to start or re-start socially responsible businesses and worker cooperatives.
Undocumented Californians contribute more than $3 billion in taxes each year. We cannot and should not forget about the economic contributions of undocumented Californians in any COVID-19 economic recovery plans. Our undocumented community must not be left behind as our state works to keep all Californians safe and strong. Thus, we also support inclusion of ITIN filers in Cal-EITC and a weekly partial income replacement fund for undocumented workers who have been impacted by COVID-19.
We respectfully urge you to preserve and strengthen the SEED Initiative as a way to enhance California's national leadership in recognizing the immense contributions of immigrants and promoting the health and well-being of all Californians.
Thank you for your consideration.
President & CEO, Faith and Community Empowerment (formerly KCCD)