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Press Releases

First 5 California Welcomes New Chief Deputy Director

Sacramento, CA – Today, First 5 California welcomed Dr. Angelo Williams as Chief Deputy Director. In his role, Dr. Williams will lead the External and Governmental Affairs Office, the Program Innovation and Evaluation Division, and the Administration Division, to develop trauma-informed, healing-centered, and culturally responsive systems to meet the needs of our youngest Californians.

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First 5 California Issues Statement on New Kids Data Report

Today, First 5 California Executive Director Jackie Thu-Huong Wong issued a statement on The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2022 KIDS COUNT® Data Book, a yearly report on child and family well-being. The report found California ranked 33rd of all states in children’s overall well-being and highlighted how anxiety and depression rose 70 percent in California’s juvenile population in 2020, the first year of the pandemic.

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First 5 California Welcomes New Chief Counsel

First 5 California (F5CA) announced today seasoned attorney James Lindsay will join as new Chief Counsel starting August 1, 2022. In his role as a member of the F5CA executive team, he will perform in the capacity of legal counselor and advisor, assisting the Commission and Executive Director on legal issues as they affect theoverall policies, programs, and practices of F5CA.

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The First 5 Network Statement on the 2022-23 State Budget

Sacramento, CA – Today, the First 5 Network thanks Governor Newsom and the Legislature for adopting the 2022-23 state budget that provides critical investments in behavioral and mental health, children’s health, early literacy, and reproductive rights.

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First 5 California Statement on the Infant Formula Shortage

As California children and families continue to recover from the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many families now face a national shortage of infant formula. Long-term supply chain issues have impacted U.S. manufacturing, but the infant formula supply chain was recently disrupted due to Abbott Nutrition recall of infant formula, affecting families in California and across the United States.

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First 5 California Executive Director Jackie Wong Applauds Governor Newsom’s May Revision Budget

Sacramento, CA – Today, Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled the 2022-23 May Revision Proposal, which continues to reflect the state’s vision to defend women’s right to choose, expand access to health care for all Californians, and protect the most vulnerable.

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Giannina Pérez Named Chairperson of California Children and Families Commission

Sacramento, CA – Yesterday, Giannina Pérez, former Senior Policy Advisor for Early Childhood in the Office of the Governor, was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to the California Children and Families Commission, commonly known as First 5 California.

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Jackie Thu-Huong Wong Named Incoming Executive Director of First 5 California

Sacramento, CA – California’s Children and Family Commission recently named Jackie Thu-Huong Wong, a refugee born during the fall of Saigon and the first woman of color as incoming Executive Director of First 5 California. Ms. Wong previously served as Chief Deputy Director for First 5 California.

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First 5 California Welcomes Lori Risso

Sacramento, CA – The California Children and Families Commission, also known as First 5 California, welcomed the appointment of its newest commissioner, Lori Risso, Principal of August Elementary School in the Stockton Unified School District.

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First 5 Responds to Governor Newsom's 22/23 Budget Proposal

ALAMEDA, CA - On Monday, Governor Newsom released his proposed 2022-23 budget plan, a framework that features important investments to advance the health and well-being of California’s youngest children. The First 5 Association of California, First 5 California and First 5 LA welcome the governor’s continued focus on making programs, services and resources more equitable, to ensure all children and families have the safe and nurturing environments they need to thrive.

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First 5 California Commission Approves $3 Million to Support Refugee Families Arriving in California

Sacramento, CA — On October 28, 2021, the First 5 California Commission unanimously approved $3 million in initial funding to support refugee families resettling in California. The approval comes on the heels of a United States military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the growing need to support thousands of fleeing Afghan refugees that are resettling in the state.

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First 5 California Statement Supporting Afghan Refugees

Sacramento, CA — First 5 California issued a statement today supporting Governor Newsom, Pro Tem Atkins and Speaker Rendon’s proposal to support Afghan refugees resettling in California.

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First 5 California Statement on 2021-22 California State Budget

Sacramento, CA — First 5 California released a statement today on Governor Newsom and the State Legislature’s transformative 2021–22 state budget.

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First 5 California Statement on Chauvin Trial Verdict

Sacramento, CA — Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday for the murder and manslaughter of George Floyd. This verdict brings accountability, and we acknowledge that more must be done to achieve racial justice for our community and society. It does not bring George Floyd back. It does not make his daughter and loved ones whole, and it does not negate the fact that Black communities still continue to live in fear.

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Jackie Wong Named Chief Deputy Director at First 5 California

Sacramento, CA — First 5 California today announced the hiring of Jackie Thu-Huong Wong as Chief Deputy Director of Program, Evaluation, and External and Governmental Affairs, according to First 5 California Executive Director Camille Maben. Ms. Wong has almost three decades of experience in the private sector and government where she worked to advocate for educational and economic equity, as well as racial justice for children, youth, and families.

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First 5 California Commission Approves Additional $2 Million in COVID-19 Relief Funding

Sacramento, CA — On March 10, 2020, the First 5 California Commission (Commission) held an emergency meeting to consider augmenting prior investments of $5 million to acquire and distribute emergency supplies for local communities throughout California. Following a staff report and compelling public testimony on the emergency supply program’s efficacy and impact, the Commission acted to increase funding in the amount of $2 million through this summer.

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First 5 Joint Statement on Governor's January 2021 Proposed Budget

Alameda, CA — Governor Newsom’s budget plan demonstrates a clear commitment to addressing the holistic and pressing needs of young children and families, by supporting them on multiple fronts during the pandemic, as well as building toward a robust early childhood system in the long term, said First 5 Association of California, First 5 California, and First 5 LA today in response to the release of the governor’s proposed 2021-22 budget.

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Governor Newsom Appoints Two New Members to California Children and Families Commission

Sacramento — California Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday made two appointments to the California Children and Families Commission, also known as the First 5 California Commission. To serve in the role of First 5 California Commission Chair, Governor Newsom appointed Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, California Surgeon General. Additionally, Governor Newsom appointed Elsa Mendoza Jimenez, Director of Health, Monterey County Health Department, as a Commission member.

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Colorful Birds with Talk. Read. Sing. It Changes Everything.

First 5 California maintains a robust Parent Information Website, http://www.first5california.com/, a Twitter feed, and a Facebook page, which provides families with children, ages 0 to 5, multiple resources, fund activities, and other supports.

Additional First 5 California social media accounts may be found below: