Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund Co-Sponsors Express Hope that HERJ Fund be Included in 2023-24 Budget
CA – While we are disappointed that the Health Equity and Racial Justice Fund (HERJ Fund) was left out of the State of California’s June Budget Agreement, we are encouraged that dialogue between advocates and lawmakers is continuing to create the fund’s framework this year, through summer trailer bill language that guides the final implementation.
California is under fiscal constraints. We recognize and support the Governor’s ongoing commitment to health equity, particularly the expansion of coverage and care of the most vulnerable Medi-Cal beneficiaries.
Now let’s take the next step and establish the HERJ Fund in law, so we can invest in our communities as the State’s budgetary outlook improves.
The HERJ Fund is a practical mechanism that directs resources to community-based organizations, tribal organizations, and clinics to address the underlying social, environmental, and economic factors that limit people’s opportunities to be healthy.
Structural racism, and deep rooted social and economic inequities, represent dual public health crises for people of color and those living in marginalized communities. That is why these communities endure far higher rates of infant and maternal mortality, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and many other health problems.
The HERJ Fund remains a critical missing component to ensuring all Californians, regardless of their skin color or zip code, can thrive and live healthy lives. Justice can’t wait for Californians struggling to house and feed their families, and stay healthy and safe while navigating a system that is making them sick. The Fund is conceived as a complement and never a replacement for public services, and we are committed to future recipients providing living wages to workers and respecting the right to unionization.
We, along with our over 230 supporting organizations and CBO partners, look forward to continuing this important dialogue with Gov. Newsom and the Legislature.
Full list of co-sponsors:
- Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)
- Black Leadership Council
- Black Women for Wellness Action Project
- California Alliance of Academics and Communities for Public Health Equity
- California Black Health Network
- California Black Women’s Health Project
- California Latinas for Reproductive Justice
- California Pan-Ethnic Health Network
- Cultiva La Salud
- Latino Coalition for a Healthy California
- National Health Law Program
- Public Health Advocates
- Public Health Institute
- Roots Community Health Center