Ensuring Opportunity

Earn It! Keep It! Save It!

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the most effective measures for helping families to increase their financial stability and avoid poverty.   There is a federal and state EITC; together they greatly enhance a family’s income and keep more children out of poverty.

The United Way’s Earn It! Keep It! Save It! campaign helps eligible families receive the tax refunds they’ve earned.

  • Families who earned less than $54,000 in 2016 may be eligible for the federal EITC and to have their taxes done for free by IRS-certified volunteers. You can find a complete list of free tax assistance sites in Contra Costa County here or by calling 211.
  • Families who earned less than $14,161 in 2016 may be eligible for California’s EITC and up to $2,700 in tax credits. Find eligibility information here.
  • The California Budget and Policy Center has an interactive tool that shows how much families and individuals can expect to receive from both the state and federal credits based on their tax filing status, the number of children they support, and their annual earnings from work.
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Contra Costa Health Care Town Hall: Saturday, February 4, 2017 in Bay Point

We will be hosting a second town hall THIS SATURDAY, February 4th 2017 at the Restoration Church in Bay Point from 10am to 12pm.

Join us for another important discussion about defending health care as a human right with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier and Supervisor Federal D. Glover of Contra Costa County District V.

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Contra Costa Health Care Town Hall: Saturday, January 28, 2017

If the Affordable Care Act is repealed, many  Contra Costa residents will likely have less access to affordable health care services, or may lose their health care coverage entirely. It is important for the community to come together to protect the most vulnerable among us. Ensuring Opportunity and our One Contra Costa Coalition partners are hosting an important Town Hall on Saturday, January 28 in Concord to create a dialogue between residents, advocates, and policy makers on how together we can preserve health care for our family members, friends and neighbors in Contra Costa. Speakers include Congressman Mark DeSaulnier, Congressman George Miller (retired), and County Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, District IV. These leaders will then be joined in a panel discussion by Director of Contra Costa Health Services, Dr. William Walker, and Yasmin Peled of Health Access California. The event is free and open to the public, and all concerned community members are strongly encouraged to attend.

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¿Cómo podemos acabar con la pobreza en el condado de Contra Costa? JUNTOS.

Vivimos y trabajamos en una región de gran riqueza, pero todavía hay muchas familias en Contra Costa que están luchando por salir adelante con lo poco que tienen.

Las causas de la pobreza son profundamente arraigadas y complejas. Pero eso no quiere decir que sean imposible de resolver. Como observó sabiamente Nelson Mandela, “La pobreza no es natural. Es hecho por el hombre y puede ser superada y erradicada por la acción de los seres humanos.”

Somos mas de un millón de personas que vive y trabaja en Contra Costa. Cada uno de nosotros puede contribuir talentos únicos para asegurar que todos en nuestra comunidad – nuestros amigos y vecinos, maestra de su hijo, el conserje en su trabajo – tengan la oportunidad de prosperar.

La pobreza tiene solución, pero es un reto enorme. Una familia de cuatro tiene que ganar más de $71,000 por año (equivalente a casi cuatro trabajos de salario mínimo a tiempo completo!) sólo para pagar las necesidades básicas para vivir.

Hemos sido bendecidos en esta comunidad con maravillosos programas y servicios que ayudan a superar los daños inmediatos causados por la pobreza. Pero para tener un impacto más duradero, también hay que crear, en todo el condado, un enfoque de colaboración cohesiva para eliminar las causas de la pobreza. De esto es lo que la Campaña Asegurar Oportunidades se trata.

Asegurar Oportunidades: La Campaña Para Eliminar la Pobreza en Contra Costa fue creado para reunir a todos nosotros – los políticos, los residentes, líderes de empresas, organizaciones laborales, agencias gubernamentales, organizaciones no lucrativos y  organizaciones basadas en la fe – para crear mejores oportunidades para todos los que viven y trabaja en nuestra hermosa comunidad.

La campaña Asegurar Oportunidades aboga por políticas justas y eficaces en seis áreas clave: seguridad económica, el cuidado de la salud, la seguridad alimentaria, vivienda, educación y seguridad.

Nuestro trabajo ya está haciendo un impacto. El año pasado, Asegurar Oportunidades, llevó una coalición que abogó por elevar el salario mínimo en El Cerrito y luego en todo el estado. Después de celebrar esta victoria, ahora estamos enfocados en resolver el crecimiento de crisis de vivienda de nuestra comunidad. Nuestro objetivo es asegurar que todos los residentes de Contra Costa tengan acceso a viviendas que puedan pagar. Estamos involucrados en varios esfuerzos locales, incluyendo la iniciativa Cero 2016 para poner fin a la falta de vivienda y la campaña Elevar el Techo en Concord.

Durante los próximos meses, vamos a reunir a las partes interesadas de todo el condado para explorar soluciones a la creciente crisis de vivienda de nuestra comunidad. Con su ayuda, vamos a identificar y abogar por cambios políticos a nível local, estatal y federal que va a expandir y proteger la oferta de viviendas económicamente accesibles.

Si usted es propietario de una casa desde hace mucho tiempo o está luchando por pagar su alquiler aumentado, necesitamos su voz en este esfuerzo. Esperamos que se una a nosotros!

Para obtener las últimas noticias y actualizaciones sobre la campaña Asegurar Oportunidades, síguenos en Facebook y Twitter y suscríbase a nuestro boletín de noticias. Por favor, añada su voz, informese y comprométase. Juntos, vamos a terminar con la pobreza en Contra Costa.

Esperamos conectarnos con usted!

Un cordial saludo,

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Directora, Asegurar Oportunidades: La Campaña Para Eliminar la Pobreza en Contra Costa

How do we end poverty in Contra Costa? TOGETHER.

We live and work in a region of great wealth, yet too many families in Contra Costa are struggling to make ends meet.

The causes of poverty are deep-rooted and complex. But that doesn’t mean it’s unsolvable. As Nelson Mandela wisely observed, “Poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”

There are more than one million of us living and working in Contra Costa. Each of us can contribute unique talents to ensure that everyone in our community – our friends and neighbors, your kid’s schoolteacher, the janitor where you work – has the opportunity to thrive.

Poverty is solvable, but the challenges are daunting. A family of four has to earn more than $71,000 per year (equivalent to almost four full-time minimum wage jobs!) just to pay for the basic necessities of living.

We are blessed in this community with wonderful local programs and services that address poverty’s immediate harms. But to have a more lasting impact, we must also create a cohesive, county-wide, collaborative approach to address the root causes of poverty. This is what the Ensuring Opportunity Campaign is all about.

The Ensuring Opportunity Campaign to End Poverty in Contra Costa was created to bring together all of us – policy makers, residents, business leaders, labor organizations, government agencies, nonprofit providers and faith-based organizations – to create better opportunities for everyone who lives and works in our beautiful community.

The Ensuring Opportunity campaign advocates for fair and effective policies in six key issue areas: economic security, health care, food security, housing, education and safety. To learn more about our policy priorities, check out our Policy Framework.

Our work is already making an impact. Last year, Ensuring Opportunity led a coalition that helped raise the minimum wage in El Cerrito and then statewide. After celebrating this victory, we are now focused on our community’s growing housing crisis. Our goal is to ensure that all Contra Costa residents have access to housing that they can afford. We are engaged in several local housing efforts, including the Zero 2016 initiative to end homelessness and the Raise the Roof campaign in Concord.

Over the coming months, we will bring together stakeholders from throughout the county to explore solutions to our community’s growing housing crisis. With your help, we will identify and advocate for policy changes at the local, state and federal level that will expand and protect the supply of affordable housing.

Whether you are a long-time homeowner or are struggling with your increased rent, we need your voice in this effort. We hope you will join us!

To get the latest news and updates on the Ensuring Opportunity Campaign, follow us on Facebook and Twitter and sign up for our newsletter. Please add your voice, get informed and get engaged. Together, we will make poverty history in Contra Costa.

We look forward to connecting with you!

Warm regards,

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Ensuring Opportunity Campaign Director