What is WestCoast doing in Texas?

Dear WestCoast Community:

Thanks to your support, WestCoast increased our impact on efforts to end child trafficking in California and nationally. As noted by a Texas human trafficking leader, “Victims don’t self-identify as victims. The responsibility is on us to get better at recognizing if it’s happening.”  WestCoast’s Commercial Sexual Exploitation – Identification Tool (CSE-IT) helps providers do just that – identify trafficked youth. Eighty child welfare, juvenile justice, and non-profit partners in 4 other states – Texas, New Jersey, Montana and North Carolina now use the CSE-IT.

NBC-Austin reported this segment on Texas’s statewide adoption of the CSE-IT: Texas will start using screening tool to identify youth sex trafficking victims 

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WestCoast study highlights who is most vulnerable to trafficking.

“Making exploitation visible is a first step toward taking action. As a result of universal screening, professionals identified 635 trafficked children. That means 635 opportunities to intervene.”

-Danna Basson, PhD, MPP
Director of Research and Evaluation

Child sex trafficking is hard to see. As a result, most youth are exploited for more than two years before anyone notices. To address this, we developed a screening tool: The Commercial Sexual Exploitation – Identification Tool (CSE-IT, pronounced “see it”).
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In Response to Hurricane Harvey, Pardoning Arpaio and the Transgender Military Ban

Over the weekend, thousands of people from Houston and surrounding areas were forced to find emergency shelter as a result of Hurricane Harvey. As the flooding continues, poor communities of color are hit the hardest. Disaster historian Jacob Remes summed it up:

“We will hear claims about how disasters don’t discriminate by race or class. This is a lie. Because disasters are social, they do. Disasters replicate and worsen the social cleavages and inequalities that preexisted them.” 

Undocumented and mixed status families may have been particularly hesitant to evacuate because Customs and Border Patrol kept immigration checkpoints open until state highways started to close. Our thoughts are with the residents of Houston and surrounding areas that continue to be flooded by Hurricane Harvey. Please see the links below for ways to help.

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In response to Charlottesville

Dear WestCoast Community:

Over the weekend white nationalists rallied in Charlottesville to protest the removal of Confederate symbols. Carrying torches, chanting Nazi slogans and waving Confederate flags, they incited violence that culminated in a car mowing down counter-protesters, killing one woman and injuring 19 people. This open convening of proud white supremacists was unmistakably emboldened by the election of Donald Trump. The President condemned hatred “on many sides,” grossly equating white nationalists and their counter-protesters.

There is only one side here—bigotry. It goes against everything we value in our work with children and our community.
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Final Podcast Episode: Race, Gender, and Child Sex Trafficking

Episode 5: “Building a Race and Gender Conscious
Anti-Trafficking Movement”

In our final episode, our panelists share concrete ways to address racism and misogyny in our response to child sex trafficking.

Our panelists, from left to right: Holly Joshi, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, the Honorable Stacy Boulware Eurie, Malika Saada Saar, and Minh Dang.

Bios at www.westcoastcc.org/whoisforsale.

Child Sex Trafficking
Who is for sale and at what cost?

Podcast Series

On November 29th, 2016, WestCoast Children’s Clinic hosted a panel to discuss how racism and misogyny drive child sex trafficking in the United States. As women and their allies across the country voice opposition to policies that explicitly endanger women and girls, the need to address the impact of the child sex trade on girls of color is greater than ever. We created this podcast from a recording of the evening. Please listen to this important conversation with five national experts in the anti-trafficking movement.

Download the podcasts and see more information from the event atwww.westcoastcc.org/whoisforsale. The podcasts can also be found on the iTunes store.

The Silent Victims of the GOP Health-Care Proposal

“Children are the largest single group of beneficiaries on Medicaid and they don’t vote.”

But you do. Call Congress today. The House is scheduled to vote on the American Health Care Act tomorrow. Tell them not to destroy the safety net for 37 million children.

The Capitol switchboard will connect you with your Member of Congress: (202) 224-3121

Access the article “The Silent Victims of the GOP Health-Care Proposal” by clicking here. 

WestCoast RiseUp: House set to vote on harmful healthcare bill this week

The American Health Care Act, also known as Trumpcare or RyanCare, would be disastrous for low and moderate income Americans, and Californians in particular.  The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the bill this Thursday, and securing votes is coming down to the wire. If you already know what’s at stake you can skip to the Action step below. Otherwise, here’s a brief summary:

The most relevant provisions of the AHCA for WestCoast are the changes to Medicaid—the bill ends Medicaid as we know it by restructuring the program and capping funding to states.

What’s the impact on California?

  • 4.1 million Californians that gained Medi-Cal coverage through the Affordable Care Act (i.e. Obamacare) would lose coverage.
  • Capped federal funding (meaning fixed amount of money per beneficiary regardless of cost) will not keep pace with state Medi-Cal costs.
  • California will face at least an $18 billion budget gap by 2020 due to loss in federal funds.
  • Adult Medi-Cal recipients will lose access to mental health and substance use disorder benefits that were added under ACA.

What about kids?

  • Though the proposed legislation does not change the entitlement to EPSDT services, the AHCA threatens the entire California economy, which in turn threatens county budgets. As a result, we anticipate that EPSDT services will be harder to access due to administrative barriers and other cost containment measures.
  • All other programs that our children and families rely on would be subject to cuts because California cannot absorb a multi-billion dollar shortfall without significantly reducing spending and/or raising taxes.

Take action: Assuming all Democrats oppose the bill, the GOP cannot afford more than 21 Republicans in the House to vote against the bill. Our Oakland Representative Barbara Lee (D-13) stands firmly against the ACHA. But there are 17 Republicans with a ‘No’ position according to The Hill, and 20 on the fence.

  1. Make calls and share the information: In California there are 13 Republican House representatives. Do you live in one of these districts? Your clients? Family or friends? Click here to look up representatives by address. Click here to see how many people in each district would be affected by the ACHA.  *See below for the list of CA reps.
  2. Share WestCoast’s Facebook post: Social media is the best way to get the word out and there are Reps in other states that are also on the fence. All of our advocacy alerts are posted on our Facebook page.

In a nutshell, AHCA would cut $880 billion in federal Medicaid spending over ten years, shifting that cost to states and causing 14 million Americans to lose Medicaid coverage within a decade.  We can’t let this happen.



Protect Medicaid

The House GOP released the text of their Affordable Care Act bill last night which dismantles the core of the Obamacare program, including Medicaid expansion (MediCal in California). It also substantially reduces the ACA subsidies that helped millions afford health insurance.

The proposal also caps federal spending on the Medicaid program, a plan that shifts health care costs to states. This would spell disaster for California’s most vulnerable children and families, including former foster youth who are currently eligible for Medicaid coverage until age 26. 


What you can do:

Make three phone calls. Sample script: “There must be an open and transparent   process before taking health insurance away from tens of millions of people and destroying Medicaid.”

“The secret plan needs to be debated responsibly under regular order – there needs to be an opportunity for input, hearings, and a CBO score before the first vote is cast in Committee.”


  • Call House Speaker Ryan – (202) 225-0600
  • Call the House Energy & Commerce Committee – (202) 225-2927
  • Call the House Ways & Means Committee – (202) 225-3625
  • Spread the word via social mediausing the hashtag #ProtectMedicaid and

#ProtectOurCare and forward this email to your networks

* If you live in a district with a Republican House Representative, call them too!  866-426-2631 (you will be connected to your Republican Representative). Click here for a constituent script.

Timeline:  Votes in two key committees are scheduled for tomorrow without opportunity for hearings or a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (known as the “CBO score”). The House wants to jam the legislation through so they don’t need to answer to their constituents when they go home for the next Recess in early April.

The bottom line? 

“This is not replacement legislation, it is a measure intended to repeal the ACA and destroy Medicaid as we know it.” –National Health Law Program

Sources: National Health Law Program; Washington Post; Politico; Indivisible

Thank you,

Jodie Langs