Congresswoman Lee Applauds Signing of AB 480

Oakland, CA – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement in response to Governor Jerry Brown’s signing of AB 480, which allows counties to provide cash benefits to qualified low-income families and individuals to purchase diapers:

“I am pleased with Governor Brown’s signing of AB 480 which will ensure struggling families in our community have access to clean diapers. In the richest country in the world, too many families have to choose between buying diapers and buying basic household necessities. That is unacceptable,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “Congress must now follow suit and invest more federal resources to support states, like California, as we help families meet this crucial need.  As chair of the Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity, I am proud to be an original cosponsor of the Hygiene Assistance for Families of Infants and Toddlers Act (HR 1143), which would create grants for states to assess the diaper supply needs of low income families.”

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher, who introduced the landmark legislation, said, “This is about much more than diapers. It’s about helping struggling, hardworking parents find and keep jobs. These parents need dependable childcare to stay employed and most day-care providers require parents to leave their children with a full day’s worth of diapers. Having enough diapers every workday can become nothing short of a crisis that harms young parents’ ability to be breadwinners for their families.”

Last year, Congresswoman Lee joined SuppyBank.org, Kaiser Permanente, the Alameda County Public Health Department, and First 5 Alameda County to kick off the Bay Area’s Baby Hygiene Kit Program to raise awareness about the struggle many families face to afford diapers. Nearly 20,000 diapers, 60,000 baby wipes, and hundreds of “diaper backpacks” and other items were distributed to families through this vital program.