Message from the President & General Counsel

Next week, I will participate in an important policy conference, "California's Crisis: Ending Child Poverty" co-convened by GRACE and The California Endowment on Monday, December 16th.

This is an important opportunity to come together with leading experts, elected officials, advocates and providers to begin reaching consensus on how to reduce child poverty in California. We hope you will be part of this effort. Unfortunately space is limited so please RSVP as soon as possible.

The conference will take place from 9am-5pm at The California Endowment's Yosemite Hall at 1000 North Alameda Street in Los Angeles.

Click here to view the schedule including speakers, moderators and panelists. If you cannot attend, the conference will be webcast online through the GRACE website:

Featured speakers include:

- Marian Wright Edelman, President and Founder, Children's Defense Fund
- Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
- Rep. Karen Bass (CA-37), Founder and Co-Chair, Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth
- Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13), Co-Chair, Congressional Out-of-Poverty Caucus
- State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson
- CA State Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg
- CA State Senator Mark DeSaulnier, Chair, Ending Poverty in California Caucus
- Peter Edelman, Faculty Director, Center on Poverty, Inequality and Public Policy, Georgetown Law School and author of "So Rich, So Poor: Why it's so Hard to End Poverty in America"
- Maria Elena Durazo, Executive Secretary-Treasurer, Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO
- Jonathan Greenblatt, Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation
- Jim Newton, Editor-at-Large, LA Times, in Conversation with California Leaders

New statewide polling results will be presented on the differing perspectives of California voters and families living in poverty and their views on poverty, current programs and potential solutions.

Throughout the conference we will also hear from people who have experienced poverty and the challenges they faced.

The conference is free to attend and lunch will be provided.

Seating is very limited and an RSVP is required. To RSVP, please contact Sylvia Bermudez at 626.356.4200 or

We hope to see you there.

Sincerely Yours,

Thomas A. Saenz
President and General Counsel

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation's leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the "Latino Legal Voice for Civil Rights in America" MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

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