Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Rep. Xavier Becerra: We’re Asking You to Fight For Our Town

111102_becerra[Editors’ note: For the next few days, we’ll be running a series of posts on the Bread Blog about each member of the Super Committee. If you live in California’s 31st district in Los Angeles and are represented by Rep. Xavier Becerra, please share this blog post with your local family and friends, and message Rep. Becerra on his Facebook page or through Twitter.]

In California’s 31st district, represented by Congressman Xavier Becerra, the unemployment rate was 12.1 percent in August. Frank Tamborello, executive director of Hunger Action LA, a nonprofit working on hunger and nutrition issues, often interacts with many hungry and poor Californians who can’t find work in a difficult job market. “At a job fair, I met a man who had job experience and potential employers saw that he was making $19 an hour at his previous job so they would brush over him and go with someone else,” Tamborello says. “But in that same room, a young lady was looking for her first job, but everywhere she went, they wanted somebody with experience.”

While the conundrum of having too much experience vs. not enough experience is a perpetual problem in the job market, the current economic slump makes the difficulty of finding a job an acute obstacle in the fight against hunger. “People who have never had to get food assistance before are signing up, and it’s introducing a lot of people who never thought about these things before to the whole social safety net as we have it,” Tamborello says.

While programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps), the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child Tax Credit are becoming increasingly important for people, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (or Super Committee) is meeting to discuss possibly cutting these programs. They need to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over a period of 10 years.

Tamborello would like his member of Congress, Rep. Xavier Becerra—who is a member of the Super Committee—to fight for the people of California who are eking together a living by the skin of their teeth. “It’s one thing if John Wayne says he’s going to defend your town, but loses; but it’s another thing if he says, 'I’m not going to fight for our town,'” Tamborello says. “We need the food stamp program because there isn’t enough capacity in the system. Without it, we will see an increase in homelessness.”

Tamborello says that if these federal programs are cut, his programs will have to severely diminish their capacity to help the people of Los Angeles.

If you are a Californian, or simply a concerned citizen who believes that programs for poor and hungry people shouldn't have to sustain further cuts, join us and call Rep. Xavier Becerra at 1-800-826-3688. Ask him to protect families in California and around the nation.

Official photo of Rep. Xavier Becerra.


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As a resident of the 31st district, I know firsthand how important the nutrition programs are to our neighborhoods. Rep. Becerra can be a voice for us by drawing a line in the sand: no cuts that cause hunger. More of us need to join Bread in asking our Congressmember to take a public position that low-income Angelenos will not carry the burden of balancing the budget on their backs. Too many are struggling to put food on the table for Congress to cut the safety net further than the hardships already facing local families.

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