The California Endowment, a not-for-profit, and largest private health foundation statewide has a mission to “expand access to affordable, quality health care for underserved individuals and communities and to promote fundamental improvements in the health status of all Californians.” Over the years, the California Endowment has invested heavily into Long Beach, California.
Here is a breakdown of some of the organizations the California Endowment has given thousands of dollars to over the years:
Actions Sports Kids Foundation
Andy Street Community Association
Fillipino Migrant Center
Greater Long Beach Interfaith Community Organization
Housing Long Beach
Khmer Girls in Action
Leadership Long Beach
Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
Memorial Medical Center Foundation
Mental Health America of Los Angeles
The California Conference For Equality and Justice
United Cambodian Community
In 2010, the California Endowment launched Building Healthy Communities, a 10 year, 1 billion dollar initiative to “advance statewide policy, change the narrative, and transform 14 of California’s communities most devastated by health inequities into places where all people have an opportunity to thrive.” Long Beach is one of those 14 cities.
Building Healthy Communities who according to their website’s mission “is to reduce health disparities and improve community health overall through systemic changes fueled by adult and youth resident engagement, collaboration and resource sharing, and strategic communication about community needs and solutions,” is partnered with a variety of groups and have taken a stance and advocated for many local issues which critics say are a little too far reaching of what an organization like this is supposed to do. Some of the more controversial issues they have advocated for are:
Wage Theft Enforcement: Coordinating a campaign to ask Long Beach City Council to recommit $700,000 of taxpayer dollars to wage theft enforcement which was previously approved in September but then rescinded after a memo from Assistant City Attorney Michael Mais to the city council in October stating “the city attorney’s office cannot take any active role in the enforcement of state minimum wage laws because administrative remedies would be processed through existing state agencies.”
Claudia’s Law: Building Healthy Communities have advocated for Claudia’s Law which critics argue is a veiled attempt to force unionization on Downtown hotels. Here is a video of a story about Claudia Sanchez, a line cook who worked overtime at a Downtown hotel the same night she had a cerebral hemorrhage. This video was shown at their People’s State of the City in 2016 and seeks to make a connection between Claudia’s cerebral hemorrhage and her overtime work, but critics argue that cerebral hemorrhages are caused by head traumas, high blood pressure, blood or bleeding disorders among other health reasons.
Building Healthy Communities’ twitter page shows support for a variety of other causes including, Black Lives Matter:
Over the years, they also have retweeted a number housing advocates’ messages. In this tweet, Building Healthy Communities retweets a Renters Rights Workshop by LIBRE, Long Beach Residents Empowered, a group against gentrification who’s mission is to advance “justice in disadvantaged communities through creation and preservation of affordable housing, renter protections, and community economic development.”
On Tuesday night, Building Healthy Communities is asking their supporters to join them in letting City Council know they are advocating for Long Beach to become a Sanctuary City:
Outside of Building Healthy Communities, the California Endowment helps to empower a variety of organizations in Long Beach with a wide scope of missions, stating on their website, “with smart grant making—which we call “change making”—good leadership, and people power, we believe we can make the state of health in California better for all.”
For more information on the California Endowment, please click here