By Celes King IV
Legislation introduced by Senator Wolk and Assemblyman Cedillo brings a real opportunity to the often overlooked community organizations to raise needed funds. Larger organizations with name recognition draw the majority of the donations leaving small local non-profits scrambling to keep alive in this age of massive government budget shortfalls. Many of these local groups are focused to provide their communities with needed services that are rarely provided by the large organizations. This bill will allow small organizations to participate in a cooperative manner. It provides these small organizations with the ability to function in a fashion similar to a large organization while maintaining their individuality. This will provide the opportunity to raise significant dollars through recreational bingo. Remote caller bingo is currently a popular fun way for people to contribute to their own community in a social environment. This is accomplished by using modern technology to bring many smaller groups together as one in the comfort of familiar community social settings. This is accomplished with a central remote data transmission point. This wonderful way of supporting needed services to our many marginalized communities, in this time of constantly reduced availability of services, gives a huge boost directly to the organizations providing services and ensures their survival. Many programs funded by the state have either been drastically reduced or eliminated. This void in many cases is being filled by struggling local groups and as Senator Wolk says “...remote caller bingo is helping non-profit charities fund programs and services that have historically been covered by the state…”
This legislation SB 340 is currently in the Assembly having passed through the Senate without difficulty. However, there seem to be forces in the Assembly being influenced by special interest groups to prevent this needed legislation from going to the Governor for approval. There are some rumors in the air, from various sources, that the Appropriations Committee and /or the Speaker’s Office are being influenced by the Gaming Commission, strange, aren’t they are heavily influenced by the Indian gambling interests. Could it be that now they have used full scale gaming to improve their communities they would be the cause of other marginalized communities not being able to fund services. I would hope that is not the case. If it is, many small organizations across this state want their needed support rather than opposition. Marginalized minority community non profits and their populations are coming together to support this legislation. It is a large step in the quest for self sustainability of services for child care to low income working mothers, tutors to prevent drop outs, healthcare education and services, food supplements, senior citizen care, veterans assistance, homeless care and housing, organized recreation activities for youth, employment assistance programs, remedial education programs including GED preparation. This bill provides the opportunity for the grassroots private sector Non Governmental Organizations to support and build sustainability in their communities.
Celes King IV, is the Vice Chairman, of the Congress of Racial Equality of California.
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