CWA partners with breastfeeding advocates all over the state to draw attention to the stark health inequities caused by inadequate breastfeeding support policies in many California hospitals. We seek policy reforms through local organizing, administrative and legislative advocacy.Learn More
Celebrate the Past, Innovate for the FutureLaurie True - February 14, 2014
The idea of WIC was born at the historic White House Conference on Food, Nutrition and Health in 1969, where pediatricians and poverty advocates shared concerns about hungry and undernourished pregnant women and young children. With help from Senators Hubert Humphrey and George McGovern, the WIC program was authorized by Congress in 1972 and launched its first pilot program in Pineville, Kentucky in January, 1974.
The early WIC years were a heady mix of experimentation, political activism and rapid expansion. It was exciting to be a part of the WIC movement and to see the early success of the program: declining hunger and anemia and better birth outcomes for millions of babies.
Forty years later, the California WIC community plans to spend 2014 highlighting WIC’s achievements and learning from our rich history. We will be celebrating WIC’s 40th birthday with a range of activities at the upcoming 2014 CWA Annual Conference & Trade Show in San Diego in April. We welcome local agency participation in these fun-filled and team-building events.
Turning forty is also a good time to look forward and begin thinking about updating WIC to meet the needs of a new generation of young parents who face a tough economy and many challenges to raising healthy and happy families. We need to ask ourselves some tough questions. Can WIC do an even better job in closing the disparities in health outcomes that persist in our population? Is the current WIC business model outdated and in need of transformative change? How will the Affordable Care Act impact WIC’s core nutrition and breastfeeding services? Can we be just as effective working remotely with WIC participants online as we are in person? What if WIC managers were held accountable for health outcomes as well as caseload?
We’ll begin grappling with these issues in San Diego – join us for work and fun!
You Can’t Pay Rent with WIC!Laurie True - December 12, 2013
While WIC is a key hunger-fighting tool, WIC families need plenty of other supports if they are to climb out of poverty caused by a deep recession and growing inequality. While the outlook for SNAP (CalFresh) is still gloomy, there are signs of other, more hopeful policy changes that could truly benefit the families you talk to every day.
CWA supports, and urges you to support, these poverty-fighting proposals – they’ll help WIC families pay the rent, survive and thrive!
Covered California: Affordable health insurance, including expanded eligibility for Medi-Cal, is now available through our state exchange for millions of formerly ineligible households. To qualify for the January 2014 start date, urge everyone to apply by December 23, though applications will be taken through March 31, 2014. Go to www.coveredca.com or call (800) 300-1506.
Assembly Budget Proposal Talks Poverty! Speaker John Perez unveiled a FY 2014-15 budget “Blueprint” that, for the first time in recent memory, actually prioritizes child poverty reduction, calling on the Legislature “to address the intolerable situation where one-fourth of California children live in poverty, with life-long consequences.” Assembly Democrats want to use some of the projected surplus to restore damaging past cuts to health and welfare programs including CalWORKS, child care, Black Infant Health, and Medi-Cal.
Higher California minimum wage: The Governor signed a new law in September raising California’s minimum wage from $8 per hour to $9 by July 2014 and $10 by January 2016. Coupled with the existing federal Earned Income Tax Credit, this pay boost will make a concrete difference for working poor families in the near future.
Paid Family Leave: Today, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) introduced a paid family leave bill, including maternity/paternity leave, called the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act. Shouldn’t the USA join the rest of the civilized world regarding parental leave? Victory on this bold proposal will take years of hard work to achieve, but the benefits to breastfeeding and family life will be worth the effort!
Early Childhood Education: Child care advocates are working hard to push Congress to make good on a top – but yet unfunded - Obama priority: universal preschool. WIC champion Rep. George Miller (D-Concord) is one of the co-authors of a new preschool bill that would implement this long-held dream. A steep price tag will make this a long-haul, but let’s get it done!