Child Well-Being Cornerstone of May 15 California Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

For Immediate Release
Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Candidates in California's gubernatorial race will discuss pressing issues impacting the state's 9.1 million children during a May 15 forum in Los Angeles. Children's Defense Fund-California, The Children's Partnership and The Chronicle of Social Change are co-hosting the nonpartisan event, entitled "Building Our Future: A Forum on Children with California's Gubernatorial Candidates."

The forum will take place on the campus of Los Angeles Trade Technical College; details are as follows:

When: Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Where: 2215 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90015, South Tent/South Campus
Time: 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Media will have approx. 15 minutes to engage with candidates at 6:40 p.m.)

Confirmed candidates include Antonio Villairagosa, John Chiang and Delaine Eastin. John Cox and Travis Allen have expressed interest in attending but have not yet confirmed. Participants will have the opportunity to outline their plans for improving the lives of California's most precious asset, our children.

This election will have significant impact on all of our communities. The forum is an opportunity for community members to participate in the democratic process and hear more about the candidates' positions on topics related to education, child welfare, health care access, technology investments for children and youth, among others. The governor-elect will replace current Jerry Brown, who will step down next year after serving two terms in his second go-round as governor. While Brown has promoted important reforms affecting children, youth and families, today 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.

Forum moderators, who lead the three organizations hosting the forum, are determined to elicit each candidate's plans to improve the lives of children in California. "The next governor of California better put children at the top of his or her priority list," said Daniel Heimpel, publisher of The Chronicle of Social Change. "While they can't vote, rest assured that their fathers, mothers, grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins will keep them top of mind when going to the polls. On May 15, we will find out which candidate will be the true champion for our state's Golden children."

"We cannot build a future for California without recognizing today that too many of our children are experiencing homelessness, hunger, lack of health care, and inadequate education," said Shimica Gaskins, executive director of Children's Defense Fund-CA. "Although we have made progress in recent years, our next governor must be one who protects the most vulnerable among us by prioritizing policies and building systems that support the whole child."

"Across the political spectrum, we all want our kids to grow up healthy, in safe environments, feeling loved and able to thrive," said Mayra E Alvarez, president of The Children's Partnership. "This election is a pivotal point in our state's history. Through their policies and programs, the next governor of California has a real opportunity to lead the way in creating a better quality of life for our children and youth and in doing so, a better future for all of California."

Many organizations that understand the importance of prioritizing California's children are sponsoring this forum, including: Alliance for a Better Community, Children's Hospital Los Angeles, The Pritzker Foster Care Initiative, Breaking Barriers, Liberty Hill, California Pan Ethnic Health Network, GRACE, Southern California Grantmakers, The California Endowment; and Los Angeles Trade Technical College.

LA School Report and Los Angeles Daily News are media partners for the forum. Community partners include: The RightWay Foundation; SHIELDS for Families; United Friends of the Children; CASA of Los Angeles; Youth Justice Coalition; Association of Community Human Service Agencies; California Alliance of Child and Family Services; California Youth Connection; URBAN TxT; AltaMed Health Services; Latino Coalition of Los Angeles; Success in Challenges; California Coverage and Health Initiatives; California Immigrant Policy Center; The Village Nation; Communities In Schools; Read Lead; Los Angeles African American Women Political Action Committee; California Partnership; Community Health Councils; DAR Public Health Consulting; Visión y Compromiso; and Orthopedic Hospital Medical Magnet High School.


The Children’s Defense Fund-California (CDF-CA) is a state office of the Children’s Defense Fund, a national child advocacy organization founded by Marian Wright Edelman that has worked relentlessly for over 40 years to ensure a level playing field for all children. With offices in Los Angeles, Oakland, Sacramento and Long Beach, CDF-CA champions policies and programs that lift children out of poverty, ensure all children have access to health coverage and care and a quality education, and invest in our justice-involved youth.

Media Contact:

Cadonna Dory
Communications Manager
(213) 355–8790 (o), (323) 385–6342 (c)