By Maria Cadenas, Executive Director of Santa Cruz Community Ventures
Our work at SCCV is grounded on our belief that a new economy that creates a more equitable, sustainable, and just community for all is possible and necessary.
Our work is beyond poverty, beyond access to a broken system. Our work is about the world we want to see and the economic and business systems that will help us get there. We are at a point of innovation, imagination, and vision.
Our work is based on the U.S. ideals that we are all created equal and with the promise that we have indelible right to life, liberty, and happiness.
But to build something new, to emerge beyond the world we know, we have to acknowledge and recognize the hate and divisiveness that came into full view in Virginia this weekend.
If we are brave enough to take on changing our economic and business models, we must be brave enough to talk about race. When we talk about working to create a new economy, when we speak about wealth gaps and affordability, we are talking about the fact that the system itself does not work. And it does not work precisely because of the inequities it is built on.
Today, I ask that we have the courage to be visible and intentional about our support of those U.S. ideals of equity and opportunity for all.
Let us remember, that to speak of innovation and truly bring change, we have to take a long hard look at unspoken assumptions, unacknowledged privilege, and have the courage to acknowledge that we are in this together. After all, there is only us.
By Brando Sencion, Program Coordinator
The Affordable Care Act recently faced possible removal and replacement by a bill in the senate that failed to pass. The law that is mostly known for its healthcare, has worked in favor of low-income families in relation to their finances by eliminating asset limits for all children and adults. This important aspect of the bill should be a critical component future health care laws should uphold.
Prior to the ACA, 27 states imposed asset limits on families as low as $1,000. The elimination of these asset limits has removed a financial barrier for low-income families. Families can obtain economic security by building upon their existing assets without losing essential benefits.
Low-income families are in constant struggle with affordable healthcare and financial security. They find it difficult to save, especially when dealing with the expensive cost of living in Santa Cruz County and paying for medical expenses.
At the moment, there is a sense of alleviation due to the removal of asset limits the ACA has brought many families. Important components such as the removal of asset limits should be a core mandate for future health care laws and one of the focus points in the financial capability community.
Asset limits and Financial capability comes into play with low-income families and their finances because of the importance of building financial security. The benefits of knowing how to budget and save are essential for families to improve their economic situations. The goal of financial capability is to educate residents and continue to build assets to create a thriving communities.
Thus, continue to call your representatives and let them know that the ACA is more than just health care, but creates access to economic security and growth in low-income families. Also, reach out to Santa Cruz Community Ventures for more information around financial capability and how it can help you. Our communities deserve the opportunity to grow and prosper.