Skip to content

Who We Are

The California Budget & Policy Center (Budget Center) is a nonpartisan, research and analysis nonprofit committed to advancing public policies that improve the lives of Californians who are denied opportunities to share in the state’s wealth and deserve the dignity and support to lead thriving lives in our communities.

We highlight inequities in our state — specifically in budget choices and public policies affecting low and middle income households, women, immigrants, American Indians, Asian, Black, Latinx, and Pacific Islander Californians, as well as other Californians of color, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ Californians — and identify policy pathways that expand economic opportunities and promote well-being for all Californians.

Get Involved!

State budget and policy decisions are vital in improving the lives of Californians and creating a more just and equitable Golden State.

Our work is here to help all Californians — including you —  advocate for a more inclusive state. We hope you join us and get involved!

Photo of people sitting down and clapping at the Budget Center's Policy Insights conference

Meet The Team

Whether we are long time Californians or only recently set foot in the state, experienced dozens of budget cycles or only recently graduated from college, our team pulls from a wide range of life experiences and is committed to building a California where every child, family, and individual can thrive.

We’re building an inclusive culture where we value lived experiences, learning, and growing together. We invite you to get to know us too.

Make a Difference

As a supporter of the Budget Center, you help advance bold policies that can transform the lives of Californians not only now but for generations to come.

Why We’re Here

Californians thrive with stable income, affordable housing, and reliable child care. Families, children, and individuals need quality education, well-paying jobs, and comprehensive health care in their communities. And everyone deserves to safely live in their neighborhoods free of discrimination and with vast opportunities to provide a secure future for themselves and their families.

But even as California is home to great wealth, many people struggle every day to afford basic needs in the same communities where they work, live, and raise families over generations. State budget and policy choices of the past and present compound the challenges put before Californians as structural racism, sexism, and other forms of discrimination are upheld — harming people of color, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ+ individuals, while providing more advantages for white people, the wealthy, and corporations. At the same time, California has neglected to fairly raise the revenue needed to support ongoing public investments and build an equitable economy. 

For every Californian — from different races, backgrounds, and places — to thrive and share in the state’s economic and social life, strategic policy choices must be made. And we believe California can build a just and equitable state and invest in every person and community. The Budget Center is leading the way forward on the policy and budget paths needed now and in the years to come for Californians, and is a trusted source for policymakers, advocates, community and philanthropic leaders, and the media navigating California’s most pressing issues. We provide dependable, timely, policy guidance and solutions through our independent research and analysis, and engage in strategic collaborations and communications to expand equitable economic opportunities and promote well-being for all Californians.

Our Affiliations

Downtown Fresno Skyline, California, USA, on a spring afternoon
The California Budget & Policy Center is an essential resource for anyone working for equity. The Budget Center makes clear how resources are allocated and what those decisions mean for diverse communities.
Sandra J. Martinez
Vice President/Chief of Staff