2021/2022 provides Southern California Grantmakers with an opportunity to manifest our vision and values through public policy efforts to impact the evolution of the institutions and systems of democracy that bind us as people. In the last year, the systemic inequalities exacerbated by the COVID pandemic, racial injustice, increased hate crimes, and nationwide attempts at voter suppression have created a sense of urgency for philanthropy to support marginalized communities. In addition, the inauguration of a new presidential administration, the convening of the 117th Congress, and the historic amount of federal financial resources allocated to state and local governments thus far offer hope that systemic change is attainable.
SCG pledges to pursue a bold policy agenda that advances racial equity and social justice. We are committed to forging relationships, pursuing partnership opportunities, engaging in advocacy, and building coalitions. We will engage with policymakers and departments within the counties we serve, the State of California, and the Federal level. Our commitment to equity extends beyond legislation and includes advocating for equitable budget allocations and improving administrative processes within public agencies and departments. The SCG Public Policy Agenda includes nine broad, issue-based categories centered on community voice, racial equity, and justice.
Child Welfare: We advocate using philanthropy’s convening role to advance public policy that supports the healthy development of children. We bring together different governmental agencies and nonprofit partners to identify opportunities for effective systems change while enabling grantmakers with less policy background to participate in this process.
Justice Reinvestments: We support justice reinvestment efforts that advance sentencing reform; promote alternatives to incarceration; invest in prevention; and increase successful civic, economic, and social re-entry.
Economic Inclusion: We support an inclusive market economy that ensures anyone, regardless of their race, gender, age, or other circumstance, over which they have no control, has full and fair access to economic opportunity, including economic, workforce, and financial development.
Environment: We believe that the environmental health of our communities is a critical component of a vibrant society. We primarily focus on climate change resiliency and air and water quality in our region.
Housing and Homelessness: Affordable housing is essential for our communities. We support public investments in permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing homelessness, tax policies that support affordable housing and community development, and streamlining approvals for affordable housing construction.
Immigrant Communities: We believe civic, economic, and social immigrant inclusion contributes to a thriving California. We stand for federal immigration policies and practices that provide fair and humane treatment, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program; ensuring that immigrants can safely access vital social services; guaranteeing immigrants are counted in the 2020 Census. Furthermore, we support inclusive, comprehensive immigration reform efforts that safely enable people to become citizens.
Social Safety Net: We recognize that the cross-cutting social safety net plays an essential role in ensuring that Californians have access to social services that offer a better quality of life, including, but not limited to health care, food security, and housing. While the government is primarily responsible for public programs, we also recognize philanthropy’s ability to re-imagine government through collective impact and partnerships. These partnerships can lead and have led to innovative pilot programs that make government more responsive. We equip grantmakers to become involved in this process while adamantly opposing changes that unsustainably shift the responsibility to philanthropy and nonprofits.
Veterans Affairs: We support systems change efforts to ensure veterans and their families safely reintegrate into their communities and receive the benefits and support their service guarantees.
Issues Affecting Philanthropy and Nonprofits: We believe in advancing public policy that nurtures our nation’s philanthropic and nonprofit sectors to strengthen and grow our civil society. We do so by protecting nonprofit nonpartisanship and a fair tax policy that promotes charitable giving.
The SCG Public Policy Committee will update this statement and consider changes to this policy agenda as appropriate and relevant to the needs of our members and community.