Villaraigosa, Chiang and Eastin Face Questions on Children’s Issues at Upcoming California Governor’s Forum

Credit: The 74Million, former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (left); California State Treasurer John Chiang (center); and former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Delaine Eastin (right).

On May 15, California gubernatorial candidates, including Antonio Villairagosa, John Chiang and Delaine Eastin, will discuss the most critical issues facing the state’s 9.1 million children at a forum hosted by three Los Angeles-based nonprofit organizations.

The Chronicle of Social Change, the Children’s Defense Fund-California and The Children’s Partnership are co-hosting the nonpartisan event, entitled “Building Our Future: A Forum on Children with California’s Gubernatorial Candidates.”

The forum will focus on child welfare, juvenile justice, educational equity, health care, poverty and access to technology for children and youth. It comes weeks before voters go to the polls for the June primary, which will determine the leading two candidates vying for the state’s top post in November.

The eventual winner will replace Jerry Brown (D), who will step down next year after serving two terms in his second go-round as governor. During his tenure, Brown guided the state out of recession and promoted several important reforms affecting children, youth and families.

He championed the Local Control Funding Formula, which dramatically altered how the state funds education. While criticized by some advocacy groups for lack of transparency, the reform set aside billions of state education dollars to assist students from low-income families, English language learners and foster youth. The state has also made substantial changes to its child welfare system, the largest in the country with about 60,000 children placed in out-of-home care.

However, 20 percent of all children in California are living in poverty, including a disproportionate number of children of color. Changes in federal immigration policy have caused turmoil in a state where about one in six children are estimated to have at least one undocumented parent.

The forum will be held at Los Angeles Trade Technical College on Tuesday May 15, from 6 to 8 p.m., and is open to the public.

Media partners include LA School Report and The Los Angeles Daily News.

If you would like to attend the forum, please register HERE. There will also be a livestream available on the day of the event.

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John Kelly
About John Kelly 1131 Articles
John Kelly is editor-in-chief of The Chronicle of Social Change.