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June Public Policy Roundup

Publication date: 
Thursday, June 28, 2018


2020 Census
     Analysis: How Federal Funds Affect State
     Spending in California
     Opposing the Proposed Changes: Local
     Update of Census Addresses (LUCA)
     Opposing the Citizenship Question

Opportunity Zones: Tying Economic Development with Equitable Outcomes


Legislation: Securing Adequate and Necessary Care for California’s LGBTQ Foster Youth

Criminal Justice Reform: Public Policy Institute of California Analysis on Proposition 47 on Crime and Recidivism

Call for Proposals: LA Homelessness Challenge

June Public Policy Roundup

This month’s Public Policy Roundup includes the Public Policy Institute of California’s recent analysis on the impact census data has on federal funds and California’s spending. In addition, we highlight Philanthropy California’s advocacy efforts around the new appeals process for the 2020 Census Local Updates of Census Addresses (LUCA) program. Furthermore, we are providing members with resources and an opportunity to engage in opposing the citizenship question on the census form, as the Census Bureau has opened public comment for 60 days.

This edition also includes a report by SCG member, Enterprise Community Partners, on the five foundational opportunities to consider in order to maximize outcomes in the new “Opportunity Zones”.  We share details on state legislation focused on ensuring LGBTQ foster youth receive the appropriate health care they need. Finally, we provide a new analysis of Proposition 47’s changes to California’s criminal justice system and details on the launch of the L.A. Homelessness Challenge.

2020 Census

2020 Census Analysis: How Federal Funds Affect State Spending in California

According to the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), over $100 billion of state spending came from the federal government, with federal dollars accounting for more than one-third of all state-spending. Over 132 federal programs rely on census data to determine distribution of dollars, amounting to more than $675 billion in federal funding. In California, census data touched 80 percent of federal funds ($77 billion) which the state receives. PPIC concluded that because distribution of dollars for federal programs relies on census data and operates similar to a zero-sum game, the state of California needs to count as well or better than the rest of the country in order to avoid losing federal dollars. For more information, click here.

Graph: Federal Funds Make Up A Significant Share of State Spending

Census Advocacy


Philanthropy California joined organizations across the state in submitting comments on two critical 2020 Census-related regulations. Both proposals, if enacted, would impede California’s ability to have a fair and accurate count. The first is in response to the Federal Register Notice on the procedures for participating in the appeals process for the 2020 Census Local Updates of Census Addresses program.

On May 21, the Office of Management and Budget released a notice of the proposed procedures for local LUCA participants to appeal the Census Bureau’s LUCA decisions. Philanthropy California submitted comments opposing the proposed LUCA appeals process, which would require localities to provide “supporting documentation” for each appealed address that the Census Bureau did not accept and place an undue administrative burden on many large and small localities. The comment period closed on Thursday, June 21, 2018.

For a copy of the letter please click here. If you have questions or comments, please contact Karla Mercado, Manager, Public Policy and Philanthropy CA at [email protected].



On June 8, the Census Bureau released a notice of regulations for the 2020 Census, including the collection of citizenship data. Public comment is open for 60 days (ending August 7) and is an important opportunity to establish a strong record from diverse stakeholders opposing the citizenship question. Philanthropy California, in collaboration with our state and national partners, is planning to submit comments opposing the addition of the citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Submitting comments as part of the rulemaking process is not lobbying and is permissible for private and public foundations.

We are encouraging foundations to consider the following actions:

  • Sign on to the national funders’ letter: To sign on, please click here to fill out a form or email Gary Bass at [email protected] with your name, title, organization and city/state by Monday, July 16, 2018.
  • Submit an individual comment: If you are interested in submitting an individual comment, please click here for sample templates, messaging points and instructions on how to submit.
  • Please note that you can sign on to the national funders’ letter AND submit an individual comment – in fact, you are encouraged to do so!

If you have questions or need assistance to submit a comment to the Census Bureau, please contact Karla Mercado, Manager, Public Policy and Philanthropy CA at [email protected].

Opportunity Zones: Tying Economic Development with Equitable Outcomes

In 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act created “Opportunity Zones,” a new community investment program for rural and low-income urban communities. Opportunity Zones enable private investors with capital gains tax liabilities to receive competitive tax breaks for investing in these designated areas. Recently, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has approved designation areas for over 8,000 Opportunity Zones across the country. In preparation for these Opportunity Zones, SCG member, Enterprise Community Partners, published the Opportunity360 Measurement Report detailing where action is most needed and where established programs and policies have been most successful in any neighborhood in the county using five key opportunity outcomes:

  • Housing Stability
  • Education
  • Mobility
  • Economic Security
  • Health and Well-Being

For more information on Opportunity Zones, click here.



Legislation: Securing Adequate and Necessary Care for California’s LGBTQ Foster Youth

In California, transgender and gender nonconforming youth are overrepresented in the foster care system. In Los Angeles County, approximately 19 percent of foster youth identify being in the LGBTQ spectrum. However, the state does not have adequate laws and policies that advance the rights of transgender and gender nonconforming youth, particularly in accessing life-saving, gender-affirming care. LGBTQ foster youth face critical challenges in receiving medically-necessary care, often waiting long periods of time or until they have aged-out of the foster care system to receive treatment.

Currently, the California State Legislature is considering Assembly Bill 2119 (Gloria) which will require county child welfare agencies to ensure that transgender and gender nonconforming youth have the right to gender affirming behavioral health care. In addition, the bill prohibits any licensed professional, or any other individual, from subjecting foster youth to any treatment, intervention or conduct that seeks to change the foster youth’s gender identity. AB 2119 builds on prior legislation including AB 889 (Liu) of 2001, which adopted California’s Foster Youth Bill of Rights, and SB 731 (Leno) of 2015, which required that the out-of-home placement of foster youth and nonminor dependents be based on an individual’s gender identity. The bill is currently being reviewed by the Assembly Committee on the Judiciary. The bill is supported by Equality California, Lambda Legal, American Civil Liberties Union, LA LGBT Center and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. For more information, click here.


Criminal Justice Reform: Public Policy Institute of California Analysis on Proposition 47 on Crime and Recidivism

The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) has released a new analysis of Proposition 47 on Crime and Recidivism. For funders interested in criminal justice reform, particularly as it relates to interventions to address recidivism, the report concludes that Prop 47 had reduced recidivism rates.

The report from PPIC notes that Proposition 47, which was passed by voters in November 2014, brought broad and significant changes to California’s criminal justice system. Undertaken in the wake of public safety realignment in 2011, Proposition 47 reduced the penalties for certain lower-level drug and property offenses and represented a step further in prioritizing prison and jail space for higher-level offenders. The full report can be found here. The analysis found several key conclusions:

  • No evidence that violent crime increased as a result of Proposition 47: While California saw an uptick in the violent crime rate from 2014 to 2016, this trend appears to have preceded the reform and is due in large part to unrelated changes in crime reporting after 2014.
  • Some evidence that Proposition 47 affected property crime: Statewide, property crime increased after 2014. While the reform had no apparent impact on burglaries or auto thefts, it may have contributed to a rise in larceny thefts, which increased by roughly 9 percent (about 135 more thefts per 100,000 residents) compared to other states. Crime data show that thefts from motor vehicles account for about three-quarters of this increase.
  • Recidivism rates decreased due to Proposition 47: Using data from twelve California counties, PPIC found that among individuals released after serving sentences for Proposition 47 offenses, the two-year re-arrest rate was 70.8 percent, 1.8 percentage points lower than for similar individuals released before the reform. The two-year reconviction rate for individuals released under Proposition 47 was 46.0 percent, 3.1 percentage points lower than their pre-reform counterparts.



Call for Proposals: LA Homelessness Challenge

Last week, United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the Watt Family Foundation, with administration from the Home For Good Funders Collaborative, launched the L.A. Homelessness Challenge, a call for proposals that will award $400,000 for innovative service models for people experiencing homelessness in L.A. County. Please feel free to share with your grantees who may be interested in this opportunity.

Now in its sixth year, the Funders Collaborative has coordinated investments from leading private and public funders to spark ideas, concepts and systems that have gone on to become local and national standards. The competition aims to deliver a pipeline of service delivery solutions that can be easily expanded with more support. At least two awards of $200,000 will be provided.

Concurrently, the Los Angeles County Homeless Initiative launched the Housing Innovation Challenge, which will award $4.5 million from the Measure H Housing Innovation Fund for creative and scalable permanent housing solutions for those experiencing homelessness in L.A. County.

Be part of the solution to end homelessness in L.A. County and submit your bold and innovative ideas on how we can make sure our homeless neighbors get the housing and services they need.