Cash is King

Greetings to all –we are so excited to bring news of new and innovative initiatives that will help secure economic security for San Franciscans, Californians, and Americans around the country. In 2020, governments scrambled to provide support with expanded unemployment insurance, access to sick leave, and emergency cash relief. In 2021, we’re seeing these emergency supports become formalized in federal and state policy and budgets. SFOFE is proud to both advocate for these policies on the federal, state, and local levels and to publicize and implement them once they are enacted, including:

$1.9 Billion State CalKIDS Expansion

Building off the success of our Kindergarten to College (K2C) program, in 2019 California created the CalKIDS program to provide $25 to every California child at birth via the state’s 529 college savings plan, ScholarShare. The California state budget this year included an enormous expansion of the program utilizing $1.9 billion in federal stimulus funds and state money. The expanded CalKIDS program will offer a $500 savings account for every low-income public school student in California in grades 1-12 (including undocumented students) with an additional $500 for foster and homeless youth. OFE and K2C are thrilled to see this statewide movement and to support the program.

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Federal Child Tax Credit Payments

The federal Child Tax Credit is a federal tax benefit to families with children. Beginning in July, payments will come monthly totaling up to $300 per child for kids under the age of 6 and $250 per child ages 6 to 17 for families that qualify for the full amount (joint filers with income under $150k or single filers with income under $75k). Most families will not need to do anything to get this money – those who filed 2019 or 2020 taxes or signed up for their stimulus payments using the IRS’s non-filer tool should have the money deposited automatically to their bank accounts. Families that haven’t filed taxes can use the IRS non-filer portal to provide their information. For more information or to see if you qualify, check out our flyer on our website or schedule an appointment with Smart Money Coaching!

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Golden State Stimulus

Earlier in the year, the Governor and the state legislature approved a historic relief package that provided $600 in Golden State Stimulus emergency relief payments to 5.7 million households across the state. The latest California state budget included an additional round of Golden State Stimulus. Families making $75,000 or less in adjusted gross income qualify for $600 payments with families with kids eligible for another $500 in relief, regardless of immigration status. To learn more or see if you qualify, schedule an appointment with Smart Money Coaching!

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San Francisco Guaranteed Income Advisory Group

Based on an ordinance passed by the Board of Supervisors, OFE has been organizing and staffing a Guaranteed Income Advisory Group to advise the Board of Supervisors, the Mayor, and relevant City departments on issues related to Guaranteed Income. This group includes experts in the field of guaranteed income, people with lived experience of poverty in San Francisco, as well as funders and non-profit experts. Join our next Advisory Group meeting “Beyond cash – Considering Longer-Term (and Radical) Solutions" on Friday, August 13 at 1 pm.

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Supporting Local Cash Transfers

OFE and the Treasurer’s Office have been supporting local cash transfer and guaranteed income programs, including the Abundant Birth Project, the City EMT program, the Artists UBI pilot, and the Guaranteed Income pilot for Transgender Individuals. OFE and the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector offer technical assistance to programs on design, benefits waivers, disbursement mechanisms, and tax treatment. For some City-led programs, the Office of the Treasurer & Tax Collector has led disbursement through existing banking contracts. OFE is proud to assist with these initiatives, bring much needed relief to vulnerable San Francisco populations, and help San Francisco stay on the cutting edge of guaranteed income programming.

The Office of Financial Empowerment is Now Hiring for Our New Director!

The Office of Financial Empowerment is now hiring for our new Director! Are you are a visionary leader who is unafraid to tackle the systemic racism of our financial system? Do you have experience managing economic security programs? If so, apply today to be our next Director. Full job description posted here.

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