SONOMA COUNTY: Building a political powerhouse

The Sonoma measure, known as “Our Kids, Our Future,” has been many years in the making. It will increase the sales tax by ¼ cent and raise $22 million for early care and health services for children ages 5 and under. In 2020 children’s advocates joined a mental health campaign in Sonoma and made sure that some of that funding went to kids. That was a dry run and gave them the experience they needed to do a measure on their own - an important lesson for others. 

The campaign prides itself on its early endorsements, saying that almost every elected official in the county has endorsed. By building such a strong base of political support, they hope to minimize opposition. They aim to ensure a living wage for early care providers; develop child care facilities where parents live and work; and expand early childhood and perinatal mental health support.