California Congressional Delegation Members Take a Stand to Protect Young Children

Mar 04, 2013, 18:43 ET from First 5 LA

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Members of the California Congressional Delegation have sent a letter urging President Barack Obama to protect federal programs that will impact the lives of infants, toddlers and their families, in California and across the country. The delegation letter comes as the President negotiates deficit reduction as part of the sequestration and budget debates currently taking place. 

Several programs essential to low income children and their families in California will be affected by the sequestration cuts that took effect March 1. The letter, circulated by Representative Julia Brownley with the support of First 5 LA, cites the impact these reductions will have on the youngest and most vulnerable population in California.

"The efforts of Congresswoman Brownley and her colleagues are critical to the wellbeing of young children and their families," said First 5 LA Executive Director Kim Belshé. "These early childhood programs are vital to the health, wellbeing and future of our young children and their families."

The Brownley letter states that sequestration will result in the loss of vital services, such as nutrition benefits through WIC, the federally-funded health and nutrition program for women, infants and children for upwards of 100,000 young children and their mothers in California, and the loss of Head Start and Early Head Start services for nearly 8,000 infants, toddlers and preschoolers in the state.

According to the letter, these programs offer the best return on the investment of the public's tax dollars, protect our most vulnerable children, and prepare future generations for success at a minimal cost.                                                                                                                         

About First 5 LA

First 5 LA oversees the L.A. County allocation of funds from Proposition 10, which added a 50-cent tax on tobacco products sold in California. Funds raised help pay for health care, education and child development programs for children from the prenatal stage to age five and their families. First 5 LA's mission is to increase the number of young children who are physically and emotionally healthy, safe, and ready to learn. For more information, please visit

Sharon Woodson-Bryant (213) 482-7507