This year has been an unprecedented time for the health of Californians and the health of Latinxs specifically. COVID-19 has laid bare the inequities the Latinx community faces and the deeper impacts that have been brought upon the community in this moment of crisis. We’ve heard from community members and our community-based partners about the most difficult aspects of this pandemic and sought out answers as to why COVID-19 has affected our community so deeply. Today we announce our 2021 policy agenda and our policy priorities outlining the specific policies that we will champion and support this legislative year. The 2021 policy agenda and priorities are both immediate and long-term policy solutions to address both the COVID-19 impacts as well as the historic health inequities the Latino community has faced in California.
Over the last year we saw first hand how structural inequities disproportionately impacted the Latinx community. Latinos make up 39.3% of California’s population, yet they are disproportionately burdened with 55.5% of COVID-19 cases and 46.4% of deaths. While the Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate, our state’s broken systems have made the Latino community increasingly vulnerable. This includes socio-economic conditions like low-wage work and unaffordable housing that have more greatly exposed Latinos to the virus. The Latino Coalition for a Healthy California 2021 Policy Agenda supports three priority issue areas-Access to Healthcare for All, Building Healthy Communities, and Health as a Human Right-along with grassroots efforts to address these inequities.
The policies, budget requests, and actions outlined below are community and data-informed and they provide short and long-term strategies to better protect the health and wellbeing of marginalized Latinx communities.
Our LCHC 2021 policy priorities are:
Access to Healthcare for All: LCHC supports policy and program changes that increase access to affordable, high-quality healthcare, including physical, mental, and oral services for all that deliver services in-language and in-culture.
- COVI-19 Response: Ensure equitable distribution of the vaccine, inclusive of essential workers and immigrants regardless of legal status
- AB 4 (Arambula) / SB 56 (Durazo): Advance healthcare coverage for all regardless of income, age, employment, or immigration status through Medi-Cal
- International Medical Graduate Proposal Budget Request -Championed by Asm. Arambula: $3.7 million budget request to increase workforce diversity of bilingual and bicultural physicians in medically underserved areas by funding UCLA’s International Medical Graduate (IMG) program
Building Healthy Communities: LCHC supports policy and program changes that shift the social, built, and natural environment of communities to reduce chronic disease and injuries and promote population health and achieve health equity.
- SB 464 (Hurtado): Increase access to food for low-income, immigrant families through CalFresh
- AB 1163 (Nazarian): Lift tax preemption on sweetened and sugary drinks and invest tax revenue into impacted communities
- Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program Budget Request: $15 million in one-time additional funding to strengthen the existing Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant Program (HSRFGP)
Health is a Fundamental Human Right: LCHC supports policy and program changes that establish health as a fundamental human right and protect and address the right against discrimination based on race/ethnicity, immigration status, disability status, gender, and/or sexual orientation, and intersectional identities.
- SB 62 (Durazo): Strengthening Wage Protections for Garment Workers who are a largely immigrant and Latina workforce
- AB 1007 (Carillo): Compensation for survivors of California state-sponsored sterilization between 1909 and 1979