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Across the country, the New Year means new beginnings.  Here in the Golden State our former and just-sworn-in Governor Jerry Brown will bring creative and sometimes austere approaches to tackle an estimated deficit of over $25 billion.

For those of us who care about health care and the social services that comprise our safety net, being prepared with our policy priorities and strategies is more important than ever.

Next week, on Wednesday, January 12, many of the state’s leading health, social service and workplace advocates will come together at the California Working Families Policy Summit to unveil their priorities for 2011.

We invite MomsRising members to join us!  This is the last week to register.

Since 2000, the California Working Families Policy Summit, hosted by the California Center for Research on Women and Families (CCRWF), has provided a pivotal forum for advocates to prepare, refine and release their priority recommendations for the upcoming legislative session.

The Summit attracts hundreds of California leaders – legislators, legislative staff, nonprofit and local government leaders, for-profit executives and concerned community members and parents.

What are the next steps to implement health care reform in California?  How do we deal with budget cuts but not sacrifice welfare and child care?  How can we move forward with programs like paid sick days and paid family leave?  These are the issues we focus on at the Summit.  Click here to take a look at the incredible thinking and vision California’s advocates put forth in 2010.

How We Think about Working Families

Our conceptual framework uses three policy lenses to move away from single-issue politics:

* Poverty-Prevention How do we build and preserve a strong safety net?

* Asset Building and Asset Protection – How can asset-building and protection programs help low-income families bootstrap themselves out of poverty and prevent them from falling back in?

* Family-Friendly Workplace Policies – How can policies like paid family leave, paid sick days, and flex time help workers balance work and family and help businesses retain employees?

And we always ask: How can we connect these different approaches to support working families?

Through our partnerships with California’s advocates, we will publish over 20 sets of public policy recommendations for Summit 2011, as well as fact sheets and legislative histories, on a host of topics: health care, CalWORKs, child care, food stamps, asset protection, paid sick days, bereavement leave, and more.

MomsRising members are a powerful force for positive change – and we welcome your participation in the 2011 California Working Families Policy Summit.  You will have the opportunity to learn about policies and programs at a deeper level than what you can glean from newspaper coverage and in a more interactive fashion than reading a policy brief (or blog posting!).

Register or check out out our agenda at!  We hope to see you on Wednesday, January 12, at the California Working Families Policy Summit.

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