A comprehensive survey conducted by the California Black Women’s Think Tank has unveiled a concerning reality for Black women in the state. The study, which engaged 1,258 Black women voters across California, highlights a host of issues that urgently require targeted intervention and policy reform.
Close to the Edge of Financial Instability:
The survey’s most striking revelation is that a significant 40% of Black women in California live precariously, with just one paycheck standing between them and financial instability. These findings underscore the fragility of economic stability for a substantial portion of this demographic.
Juggling Multiple Jobs:
Among the respondents, a concerning 37% reported that they hold two or more jobs. Of this group, a staggering 62% view these additional jobs as not just an option but an absolute necessity. These extra employment commitments are crucial for making ends meet in a challenging economic landscape.
The Strain of Rising Costs:
The rising cost of living and inflation are pervasive concerns for Black women in California. An overwhelming 80% of those surveyed cited this issue as a significant worry, reflecting the pressures they face in managing their finances amidst economic uncertainties.
Systemic Inequalities and Racism:
The survey revealed that 40% of respondents believe that their income and earning potential have been constrained by racism and discrimination. This finding shines a spotlight on the enduring structural inequalities faced by Black women in California and underscores the need for targeted initiatives to address this critical issue.
Regional Disparities in the Bay Area:
The survey also highlighted regional disparities within the state. In the Bay Area, 33% of working Black women hold more than one job. Of this group, 58% consider these additional jobs essential for their financial stability. These figures suggest that the Bay Area’s unique economic landscape may exacerbate the need for multiple jobs among Black women.
Policy Priorities for Improvement:
Survey participants have made their policy priorities clear. The top concerns include the urgent need for equal pay for equal work (88%), the necessity for affordable housing solutions (86%), enhanced protections for Black women and girls against violence (85%), increased access to quality and affordable healthcare (84%), availability of fresh, healthy food (80%), and improved mental health services (80%).
The survey findings were sobering, leading Kellie Todd Griffin, President and CEO of the California Black Women’s Collective Empowerment Institute, to stress the need for actionable change. Griffin emphasized that the data serves as a powerful call to action for policymakers, advocates, and community leaders to address the pressing challenges and disparities faced by Black women in California.
This groundbreaking survey, made possible through a $5 million budget trailer bill, marks a significant milestone for the California Black Women’s Think Tank, illustrating the importance of data-driven initiatives in driving meaningful policy changes that can uplift the lives of Black women across the state.