Petitions & Press Releases

Monkeypox Outbreak Funding and Resources Letter to Governor Newsom

August 18, 2022 

The Honorable Gavin Newsom 

1020 O Street, Suite 9000 

Sacramento, CA 95814  

Senate President pro Tempore Toni Atkins 

1021 O Street, Suite 8518 

Sacramento, CA 95814 

Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon 

1021 O Street, Suite 8330 

Sacramento, CA 95814 

Re: Monkeypox Virus (MPV) Outbreak Funding and Resources 

Dear Governor Newsom, President pro Tempore Atkins, and Speaker Rendon: 

We, the undersigned, are writing to request additional funding and resources for local  public health departments, healthcare providers, community-based organizations, and  affected individuals during the growing monkeypox virus (MPV) outbreak in California.  We applaud Governor Newsom’s decisive leadership in declaring a State of  Emergency on August 1, 2022.1 The emergency proclamation was a critical step toward  accelerating the state’s efforts to address the current public health crisis and ensuring a  coordinated response across the administration. We express our deep gratitude and appreciation to the individuals working across the government at all levels and all  departments to respond to the MPV outbreak with the urgency and attention it  deserves. However, with only two weeks left in the legislative session, we believe further  action is urgently needed to stem the tide of the current outbreak and prevent MPV from becoming further entrenched in the LGBTQ+ community and other vulnerable communities across California. Specifically, we urge the administration and legislature  to support the following key priorities:  

o $38.5 million in FY 2022-23 to support MPV response activities at the California  Department of Public Health (CDPH) and local public health departments: The  ongoing efforts of CDPH and local public health departments to expand access  to testing, vaccines, and treatment are the pillars of an effective response to the  current outbreak. On August 1, 2022, a group of 11 lawmakers led by Senator  Scott Wiener requested a supplemental appropriation of $38.5 million in FY 2022- 23 to support these vital services, including providing culturally responsive  education and outreach, standing up vaccination clinics, supporting  emergency staffing, improving data collection and analysis, and accelerating  access to treatment.2 We fully support this supplemental funding request and  

1 Governor Newsom Proclaims State of Emergency to Support State’s Response to Monkeypox. Available at:  https://www.gov.ca.gov/2022/08/01/74502/

2 Tweet by Senator Scott Wiener. Available at:  

https://twitter.com/Scott_Wiener/status/1554240386947637249?s=20&t=UFSktS-j71vwQ_zoXh5DNg.

recognize that additional resources may be needed if the outbreak continues  for an extended period of time. 

o Reimbursement for MPV vaccine administration: While MPV vaccines are being  distributed by the federal government from the Strategic National Stockpile,  there is currently no dedicated funding for vaccine administration at Federally  Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) and similarly situated clinics as well as non clinic providers – particularly the enormous amount of staffing required to quickly  vaccinate significant numbers of vulnerable Californians. We appreciate the  California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) indicating that it plans to  seek federal approval to reimburse MPV vaccine administration and applicable  laboratory testing at 100 percent of the Medicare rate and reimburse FQHCs and other partners consistent with how the department is reimbursing for COVID 19 vaccines.3 But without a Presidential declaration under either the Stafford Act  or the National Emergencies Act, DHCS may not receive federal approval for  these reimbursements.4 We call on the administration and legislature to ensure  that healthcare providers and other organizations on the frontlines of the MPV outbreak are adequately reimbursed for the critical services they have and will  continue to provide. 

o Paid leave and financial support for those in need of MPV testing and treatment,  vaccination, and recovery: As cases continue to rise, hundreds of thousands of  Californians will need to be vaccinated to protect themselves from acquiring  MPV. Many others will require access to testing and, if symptomatic, may need  to isolate for a short period of time until they receive their results. Taking time off  work to be vaccinated and/or tested for MPV will be challenging for many,  particularly given the limited vaccine supply and numerous obstacles reported  by those attempting to access the vaccine. At the same time, people  diagnosed with MPV may need to isolate for 2-4 weeks until all symptoms have  resolved and they have fully recovered from the disease. An MPV diagnosis can and will be financially crippling for those without adequate financial support  and/or paid leave. California should consider expanding temporary eligibility for  the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program to protect workers who do not  currently contribute to SDI, in much the same way that eligibility for  unemployment insurance was expanded during COVID-19. California should also consider providing financial relief for employers to extend paid leave to workers  who need to take time off to be vaccinated, seek testing and/or treatment,  isolate due to a positive diagnosis, or care for a family member or loved one  affected by MPV. The involvement of extended family across multiple  generations in caregiving occurs particularly in communities of color. Financial  relief for employers should include individuals with disabilities who need to  extend paid time off to their privately paid regular personal care assistants who  must isolate because of MPV, but who must still employ additional workers to  provide for their own daily personal care needs. California must also ensure that  

3 California Request for Action: Monkeypox Virus Guidance. Available at:  

https://www.dhcs.ca.gov/Documents/monkeypox/MPX-CA-Letter-to-CMS.pdf

4 See 42 U.S.C. 1320b–5(g)(1).

people diagnosed with MPV have a safe place to isolate, particularly those living  in long-term care facilities, people experiencing homelessness, and incarcerated  individuals. 

o Publicly available demographic data on vaccine administration and treatment  access: Above all else, we call on the administration and legislature to continue  prioritizing equity at every stage of the MPV response. Concerning reports were released last week indicating that in some parts of the country, BIPOC LGBTQ+  community members are bearing a disproportionate burden of MPV, yet they  are receiving a fraction of the limited vaccine supply in comparison with their  white peers.5 It is essential that CDPH and local public health departments make  publicly available demographic data on vaccine administration and treatment  access. Government officials and community partners must make every effort to  prioritize reaching BIPOC gay and bisexual men, transgender individuals, and  others who have been historically marginalized by the healthcare system and  may be least likely to access services during the current outbreak, particularly  given the growing stigma associated with MPV.  

Finally, we urge the administration and legislature to continue using every tool available to ramp up pressure on the federal government to ensure that California receives an  adequate supply of vaccines and guarantee access to MPV testing and treatment for free or at very low-cost. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently  granted Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for an alternative dosing strategy that  could increase the nation’s vaccine supply by five-fold, we fully expect demand for the  vaccine will continue to outpace supply.6 In addition, the federal government must  take further steps to expedite access to treatment for MPV. Tecovirimat – more  commonly known as TPOXX – is currently considered an “investigational drug” for  treatment of MPV and the red tape required to gain access to the medication remains  unduly burdensome for both patients and providers.7 The FDA must act with greater  urgency to authorize TPOXX for MPV treatment through the EUA process and streamline access to this desperately needed medication.  

Thank you for your attention to these urgent priorities. We look forward to working with  you to ensure that public health and community partners across California have the  resources they need to end the current MPV outbreak as quickly as possible. If you  have any questions, please contact Craig Pulsipher at [email protected]  

Sincerely,  

5 Human Rights Campaign Calls for Equitable Monkeypox Response Amidst Disturbing Reports of Vaccine Disparities.  Available at: https://www.hrc.org/press-releases/human-rights-campaign-calls-for-equitable-monkeypox-mpv-response amidst-disturbing-reports-of-vaccine-disparities

6 Biden Administration Announces Key Actions and Implementation Plan to Increase Vaccine Supply. Available at:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/08/09/fact-sheet-biden-administration announces-key-actions-and-implementation-plan-to-increase-vaccine-supply/

7 There’s Just One Drug to Treat Monkeypox. Good Luck Getting It. Available at:  

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/08/06/health/monkeypox-treatment-tpoxx.html.

 

Access Support Network 

American Academy of HIV Medicine California-Hawaii Chapter APLA Health 

Asian American Drug Abuse Program, Inc. (AADAP) Being Alive – LA/People with AIDS Action Coalition Bienestar Human Services 

California Black Health Network 

California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network Cal Voices 

Christie’s Place 

CLARE | Matrix 

Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County, Inc. Community Clinic Association of Los Angeles County DAP Health 

Disability Rights California 

Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) End Hep C SF 

Equality California 

Essential Access Health 

Gender Justice LA 

GLIDE 

HIV+Aging Research Project-Palm Springs 

Inland Empire HIV Planning Council 

Justice in Aging 

Kedren Health 

Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County 

LGBTQ Center OC 

LGBTQ Community Center of the Desert 

Liver Coalition of San Diego 

Los Angeles LGBT Center 

Lyon-Martin Community Health 

Maternal and Child Health Access 

NARAL Pro-Choice California 

National Harm Reduction Coalition 

National Health Law Program 

Out4MentalHealth 

Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California 

Positive Women's Network-USA 

PRC 

ProjectQ 

Queer Works 

Radiant Health Centers 

Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance 

REACH LA 

San Francisco AIDS Foundation 

San Francisco Community Health Center 

San Francisco Drug Users Union 

Somos Familia Valle

St. John’s Community Health 

The Source LGBT+ Center 

The Spahr Center 

[email protected] Coalition 

Watts Healthcare Corporation 

Wesley Health Centers / JWCH Institute, Inc. 

Western Center on Law & Poverty 

cc: The Honorable Members, Senate Select Committee on Monkeypox  Richard Figueroa, Office of the Governor 

Tam Ma, Office of the Governor 

Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services Agency Secretary Dr. Tomás Aragón, California Department of Public Health Director  Michelle Baass, California Department of Health Care Services Director

 



Gender Justice LA's Statement Regarding Roe v. Wade Ruling

GJLA stands firm with all communities across the country fighting for the right to bodily autonomy. This latest SCOTUS decision is a heartbreaking and large attack on our communities. The fight for abortion is about access to safe abortions, of human rights, it is about body autonomy, about access to health care, and the fight against criminalizing policies that have gone after our most vulnarable communities : Black, Brown, Indigenous, Trans, Gender Non-Conforming, Intersex, (TGI) Disabled, and low income folks. 

On this day, the Supreme Court rolled back 50 years of blood, sweat and tears from folks organizing on the front lines to make sure that people have safe access to reproductive rights, which are deeply interconnected to TGI, 2S, LBQIA+ rights.  Our communities need access to reproductive health and wellness. Our communities need access to quality and safe care, one that iis not rooted in white supremacy, or built through colonial structures and paternalistic ways.  The fact is, this ruling will cost many people their lives, right to privacy, and will increase the criminalization of TGI bodies and their bodily autonomy.  This ruling affects us all.  We are urging our communities, allies, co-conspirators, disruptors, artists, and comrades to join the movement to fight for reproductive rights. 

Gender Justice LA will continue to create trans inclusive rapid responses, organize and build collective strategies that are rooted in care, intersectional analysis and mutual aid efforts when it comes to issues impacting reproductive and TGI rights. This is a moment to stand in solidarity and understand that this attack on our bodies is an attack on our safety and deeply connected to the carceral state and the violence it employs.  We are taking in the words of Audre Lorde, “There is no thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.” Join us in the larger movement to build our collective power for trans and gender justice!

10 ways to stay informed, take action and support!

  1. Join an in-person or virtual rally: Find a rally near you 
  2. Donate to Funders that directly fund BIPOC led, TGI, 2S grassroots organizations 

Trans Justice Funding Project

Funders For LGBTQ Issues

Groundswell Fund

Third Wave Fund

Astraea Foundation

Liberty Hill Foundation

Women's Foundation California

Borealis Philanthropy

 

  1. Follow and support the work of organizations that are fighting for reproductive justice and abortion access

Gender Justice LA, TAKE, SisterSong, National Network of Abortion Funds, AbortionFunds.org, If When How

 

  1. 2 Actions You Can Take Today!

 

  1. Join Bold Philanthropic Pledge to Protect Abortion Access and Reproductive Justice

 

  1. Donate directly to Transmasculine Health Justice LA (TMHJ: LA) Fund 

 

  1. Add your resource suggestion to Gender Justice LA's Resource Guide

 

  1. Join Gender Justice LA's mailing list 

 

  1. Become a Gender Justice LA monthly Sustainer! 

 

  1. GJLA Resource Guide for  Reproductive Justice and more

 

Resources

Sources: 

  1. "Supreme Court wipes away constitutional guarantee of abortion rights, overturning half century of precedent," NBC News, June 24, 2022 https://act.moveon.org/go/163824?t=5&akid=326400%2E23284785%2E1KyqhU

2. "13 States Have Abortion Trigger Bans—Here's What Happens When Roe Is Overturned," Guttmacher Institute," June 6, 2022 https://act.moveon.org/go/163412?t=7&akid=326400%2E23284785%2E1KyqhU

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PETITION LINK https://bit.ly/CPTAsign

The California Transgender, Gender Nonconforming, and Intersex Policy Alliance (CTPA) has been working for months with Assemblymember Santiago and the LGBT Legislative Caucus to include funding for these programs in the 2022-23 Budget. Transgender, gender nonconforming, and intersex (TGI) people face extreme and rampant discrimination and criminalization across society. Due to this discrimination, TGI people, and especially TGI people of color, often have difficulty accessing culturally competent services and getting their basic needs met. These funds would provide critical, life-living support for TGI people, and especially TGI people of color, for things like housing assistance, emergency food, medical and mental health care, and wraparound services. 

CTPA requested three years of $15 million annually for the TGI Wellness & Equity Fund ($45 million total) and three years of $25 million annually for the TGI Re-entry Fund ($75 million total). With a budget surplus of $68 billion this year, these requests are tiny compared to the overall budget, but would have a major and live-changing impact for our TGI communities. However, the budget recently released by the legislature includes no new funding for TGI services. It only re-allocates $13 million already allocated last year for the Wellness & Equity Fund that CDPH was yet to actually release.

During Pride Month, politicians like to speak about what they are doing on behalf of LGBTQ communities, but often without backing this up with action. And we know that so often, TGI communities are forgotten completely. This Pride Month, I am calling on you to show that you actually support TGI communities in the state by adding funding for the TGI Wellness & Equity Fund and for the TGI Re-entry Fund into the final budget.  

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 13, 2022

 

CONTACT

Hayley Burgess, [email protected], 626-497-2341

 

Governor Newsom Set to Remove Exclusions to Food Assistance for Older Undocumented Californians, But Leaves Out Hundreds of Thousands of Households Who Face Rising Food Insecurity 

 

Los Angeles  – Today Governor Gavin Newsom announced his revised state budget plan, which included a proposal to remove exclusions to the California Food Assistance Program (CFAP) for Californians over age 55, regardless of immigration status. While this is an important step toward ensuring the health and wellbeing of older Californians, it misses a vital opportunity to ensure Californians of all ages who have been historically excluded are able to access critical food assistance. 

 

Amid skyrocketing food prices and soaring cost of living, a recent report from the Food4All campaign in partnership with the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research revealed that nearly half (45%) of undocumented Californians are currently experiencing food insecurity. Children face even higher rates of food insecurity; 64% of undocumented children - nearly two out of every three - don’t have access to sufficient food. 

 

Food assistance programs such as CalFresh and CFAP have been proven to reduce hunger, improve health, and mitigate poverty in the long term. Between 2013 and 2017, CalFresh kept 828,000 people out of poverty in California, including 418,000 children, per year. By eliminating the exclusion of income-eligible undocumented immigrants, DACA recipients, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) holders, and certain visa holders from CFAP,  we can ensure a more equitable state food safety net and build upon California’s growing movement towards immigrant inclusion. 

 

Betzabel Estudillo, Senior Advocate at Nourish California:

“There are hundreds of thousands of Californians struggling to put food on the table who are unjustly  excluded from nutrition assistance programs. We must stop discriminating people who are in need of critical food assistance simply because of their immigration status. When every Californian, no matter their age or immigration status, has access to the food they need, our communities and economies can thrive.”

 

Benyamin Chao, Policy Analyst at the California Immigrant Policy Center:

“These initial investments in Food4All move us closer to eradicating food insecurity. However, as food prices continue to rise, we urge our elected leaders to act quickly to address inequities in food access faced by immigrants who call California home. We cannot afford to continue excluding California residents from essential food assistance programs on the basis of arbitrary factors such as age or immigration status. Let’s create an equitable food system where everyone has a plate at the table.”

 

Senator Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger)

“Hunger knows no border, no race, no nationality, and with the inclusion of Food For All in this year’s budget, California moves closer to stamping out hunger. Access to food is a human right, and as drought intensifies, the cost of food will rise—further increasing food insecurity across California. This funding in the budget will help us address this crisis and ensure that those who need help, regardless of their immigration status, will have access to assistance. This allocation brings California one step closer to a state where there is food for all.” 

 

Assembly Member Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles):

“All, and I mean all, Californians deserve access to food, regardless of age, immigration status and more. As California recovers from the pandemic, let’s ensure that our most vulnerable residents are not left behind and have the tools to succeed. This includes equitable access to food.”

 

Sonia Guiñansaca, Director of Outreach at Gender Justice LA:

“Food4All sets a bold and humane precedent for how our state can show up for all our communities during this crucial time of income inequality, food insecurity, and unemployment. We have seen first hand the toll that the pandemic has had on our undocumented and Trans community members. This is a moment where California can demonstrate leadership in how we care for the well being of all our residents regardless of immigration status and age.”

 

Vanessa Teran, Policy Director of the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project (MICOP):

“When we exclude immigrant families from accessing food benefits, we place a burden on future generations. Food is the foundation for nourishment of our bodies and minds that helps us rise each morning to build a better future for ourselves and others. By not prioritizing undocumented community members, including those who were deemed essential during the pandemic, who work in the fields that make California the "salad bowl of the world", we're saying that they don't matter and we leave them unable to afford the very food they pick.”

 

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The Food4All coalition is a diverse, robust coalition of more than 50 anti-hunger, anti-poverty, immigrant rights and grassroot organizations that are working together to bring an equitable nutrition safety net that does not discriminate based on immigration status. 

 

Founded in 1992 and operating for over a quarter century as California Food Policy Advocates, Nourish California is a nonpartisan, statewide 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. We engage in policy advocacy and research at the local, regional, and state levels in California and at the federal level. When our small team isn’t out meeting with communities, partners and policymakers, we can be found in our offices in Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego.

 

The California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) is a statewide immigrant rights organization that advocates for policies that protect and advance the rights of immigrants and their families throughout California. CIPC combines legislative and policy advocacy, strategic communications, statewide organizing, and regional coalition capacity building to pursue its mission of advocating for policies that uphold the humanity of immigrants and refugees while advancing racial, social, and economic justice.




Sample Tweets:

 

@GavinNewsom’s revised budget removes exclusions to food assistance for undocumented Californians 55+ but does NOT go far enough. Our state needs #Food4All for all Californians so that we can all have food on the table.

 

We call on @GavinNewsom to FULLY fund #Food4All because everyone in our community should be able to have food on the table. 45% of undocumented Californians are currently facing food insecurity - this is unacceptable, especially w/ CA's record budget surplus this year.

 

@GavinNewsom, we need to remove exclusions to food assistance for ALL Californians! 45% of undocumented Californians - and nearly 2 in 3 children - are facing food insecurity. We need to go beyond 55+ for #Food4All in the final budget!

 

@GavinNewsom takes an important step so older Californians have enough to eat but we need #Food4All to invest in the long-term health and wellbeing of ALL Californians. Read more by @TheTinaVasquez: https://thecounter.org/california-food-assistance-undocumented-immigrants-indigenous-communities-gavin-newsom-cfap/

 

@GavinNewsom’s revised budget does NOT reflect our state’s values of equity and inclusion for all. We urge the governor to FULLY fund #Food4All because no one in our community should struggle to put food on the table.


Without fully-funded #Food4All, 45% of undocumented Californians, including 2 in 3 children, continue to face food insecurity. @GavinNewsom can and must do more. Read more by @AbramskySasha: https://www.thenation.com/article/economy/undocumented-food-insecurity/

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January 27th, 2021

Dear Trans, Gender Non-Conforming and Intersex (TGI) Community Members,

In early December 2020, researchers at Vanderbilt University and UCLA reached out to transgender people across Southern California who are active in the community, work in advocacy, or work for organizations that provide care, resorces, or safety for folks who do not identify as Cisgender . According to their email, the purpose of this meeting was to request feedback on a brain imaging study including set up, appropriate and inclusive materials, and ways in which the study team can respectfully connect with community organizers and partners. During the meeting, we learned that this study is already underway with approval by the UCLA Internal Review Board (“IRB”) (#11-000459).

We strongly recommend that transgender community members and LGBTQ organizations do not advertise or participate in this study. We have grave concerns about the unethical research design.

The research design purposefully causes mental health distress in order to trigger “dysphoria.” This includes having participants wear tight leotards and taking photographs of their body. We were asked for input about low retention of trans participants and found the researchers unable to comprehend why this study is harmful. The researchers are falsely advertising this study without clarity about the expectations of participants and without consideration of the need for direct access to mental health after care.

We object to the purpose of the study and it’s potential consequences on access to care for transgender people. The researchers claim that their study could help transgender people, but their own research materials suggests they are developing tools that may curtail access to gender-affirming treatment. Further, Principal Investigator, Dr. Jamie Feusner, is also currently funded to study Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) and anorexia nervosa. He describes his broader research as seeking to understand phenotypes of aberrant perceptual and emotional processing that cross diagnostic boundaries of conditions involving body image such as BDD, eating disorders, and gender dysphoria. We object to the view that transgender people have an aberrant body image condition or that brain imaging of traumatic response could ultimately “help” trans people. It is suggestive of a search for medical “cure,” which can open the door for more gatekeeping and restrictive policies and practices in relation to access to gender-affirming care. At a time in which trans lives are under attack, we find this kind  of research to be misguided and dangerous.

We question the larger issue, that UCLA has a “Transgender Research Program” that this researcher heads, and it does not appear to have many connections to the trans community. We call on UCLA to shut down this research project immediately. Furthermore, we call on UCLA to:

  • Researchers immediately cease the recruitment of participants and the use of the misleading title “The UCLA Transgender Research Program.”
  • Call on the Vice Chancellor for Research, Dr. Roger Wakimoto, to appoint an ad hoc committee to investigate the community expressed concerns pursuant to Policy and Guidance: Complaints, Concerns and Suggestions, and Reports of Undue Influence Regarding the Conduct of Human Participants Research. The ad-hoc committee should include representation of transgender people. The findings and outcomes of the investigation should be made available to the public.
  • Conduct a thorough assessment of the Interview Review Board focused on aligning IRB decision-making with UCLA’s commitments to equity, diversity, and inclusion. 
  • Include transgender researchers and policy advocates to participate in their IRB review for any trans related research
  • Include transgender researchers and policy advocates to participate on scientific advisory boards and community advisory boards for any trans related research
  • Thoroughly vet any professors-in-residence and tenured professors who wish to engage in transgender-related research and ensure their research and curriculum does not cause harm to the transgender community
  • As members of the TGI community, we realize that we are in need of research to fill the gaps in our access to care. However, we must remain vigilant that any research that is conducted does not impact our community negatively in terms of opening the door for potential policies that excludes us from society.

As members of the TGI community, we realize that we are in need of research to fill the gaps in our access to care. However, we must remain vigilant that any research that is conducted does not impact our community negatively in terms of opening the door for potential policies that excludes us from society.

To sign on to this letter and stand with the transgender community in solidarity, please fill out the google form and submit your organizations’ logo. 

Thank you for standing in solidarity with the transgender community.

To Sign-On please complete this google form

Thank you to those who have already signed on to this letter!

Learn more about Gender Justice LA

 

 

Event LINK: https://www.facebook.com/events/767990190018358/

Will you sign?