On October 12, Congressman Jimmy Panetta joined the community for a Virtual Town Hall to discuss Centering Children & Families at the Heart of Recovery. Alma Loredo of Las Mamas de Salinas Abogan joined the conversation and asked “How can we help immigrants feel safe applying for benefits, in a climate of such fear?” Panetta’s office responded that:
- We need to destigmatize the relationship between immigrants and the government.
- And continue to halt the implementation of public charge regulations that deter immigrant families from getting needed health care and assistance.
Community member Michael Artalejo also called out the fact that teens and young adults are becoming caregivers and asked how we can support them and their families during these challenging times. Panetta’s office noted that:
- We need to reinvest in our child care industry so our young adults are not saddled with the responsibility of caretaking their younger siblings.
- The recently House-passed Heroes Act included $57 billion in emergency funding for child care, $50 billion for child care stabilization grants, and $7 billion in emergency funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant Program (CCDBG).
- And Panetta and his office will continue to put pressure on the Senate to include child care in any future COVID relief package.
Thank you, Alma and Michael, for your leadership and for looking out for our community’s youngest and most vulnerable by ensuring they are able to access the support they need.
To see the full responses from Panetta’s office and more, click here.
Also, watch this video to hear from advocates across the Central Coast region as they discuss the needs of our children and families during this challenging time.