Thursday, February 27, 2014

Coalition pushes for ballot measure on youth program funding

Posted By on Thu, Feb 27, 2014 at 2:00 PM

A coalition of children and youth advocates Thursday called for a November ballot measure that would increase city funding for children's programs by up to $33 million per year and expand services to young adults, citing a recent poll that showed strong public support.

The Children's Fund, established in 1991 and re-authorized in 2000, mandates that The City set aside about 3 percent of property tax revenue for services to children and families. With the fund set to expire in 2016, the Children's Fund Coalition, made up of more than 50 community organizations, is working to keep it alive through a new initiative.

A citywide poll of 500 likely voters, released Feb. 19 by Tulchin Research, found that 74 percent support an extension for the fund, expanding the service age limit from 17 to 24 years old, and increasing the amount of property taxes set aside from 3 to 5 percent.

The fund has received about $50 million in property taxes annually, and that would increase by up to $33 million per year if 5 percent of property taxes is dedicated.

The fund has received about $50 million in property taxes annually, and that would increase by up to $33 million per year if 5 percent of property taxes is dedicated.

"We are talking about an increase in the fund to make sure we have the funding to include this new group of transitional age youth (18 to 24 years old) and because there's a massive amount of need in San Francisco," said Chelsea Boilard, programs director for Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth, a member of the coalition. "Specifically, childcare and youth employment are two areas that have seen huge state cuts."

Several dozen students, parents and advocates with the coalition gathered Thursday morning at Mission Neighborhood Centers to support the recommendation.


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Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

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Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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