Funding the Next Generation began six months ago with a question: Is there interest in communities throughout California in developing local dedicated public funding streams for children, youth and families? On September 27, the answer was apparent - a resounding and inspiring YES! Over 200 participants representing 31 counties and 11 statewide organizations, and a "faculty" of 16 experts convened at the Waterfront Hotel in Oakland to attend what we believe was the first-ever conference on how child advocates and local elected officials can promote this type of funding.
CONFERENCE ENERGIZES AND SETS STAGE
Chet Hewitt, CEO of the Sierra Health Foundation, opened the conference by reminding the audience of the urgency of finding adequate and stable resources for children, and cited economists and military experts as allies of the cause. He urged conference participants to get involved in promoting local public funding measures. "Philanthropy can never make up for what is needed." He let everyone know he understood what was involved in passing funding measures for kids by describing his leafleting for the San Francisco Children's Fund almost 25 years ago.
Pollster Dave Metz
shared data showing that on almost every issue he has worked on (from parks, to environment, to building a new court house), the public's support for children is the most powerful argument in favor. He said, "the path to success is showing how a measure will benefit children." He told the audience that voters rank helping kids as an "urgent priority," and that voters don't believe that we are doing enough. He urged the audience to seize the opportunity. "In our hyper-partisan time, kids are one issue that is non-partisan." See Dave's amazing power point.
|LAUSD Board Member Bennett Kayser and Kathleen Manis from the Advancement Project left the conference committed to new funding streams for art and after-school in LA.|
Larry Tramutola, one of the country's most successful political consultants, captivated the audience with stories of successful campaigns, pointing out that sometimes it takes many tries to win, and helping people understand the importance of on-the-ground organizing. Tramutola believes that the public is much more likely to support local measures than state and federal measures, because voters want to see the concrete results of their investments close to home. He believes that the local level is where you can build trust - even with those skeptical about government services. His candor was deeply appreciated by the audience - including his surprising belief that social media is not effective when it comes to getting public support. One of Tramutola's messages: Don't let naysayers distract you from your game. Focus on getting your supporters involved.
The teams from each community represented a diverse combination of leaders from from the public and non-profit sector, as well as elected officials and foundation staff. And hats off to the First 5 folks who were there from 21 different counties - AMAZING! Thank you to Moira Kenney, the Executive Director of the First 5 Association of California, who understands the power of working at the local level, and sees the responsibility of First 5 as lifting up all children and families.
COUNTY TEAMS PLANNED NEXT STEPS
TEAM FROM NEVADA COUNTY WORK TOGETHER
Lindsay Dunckle, First 5 Director; Laura Harter, Child Advocates of Nevada County; and Gail Johnson-Vaughn, Mission Focused Solutions
Conference attendees received a wealth of information on how to begin the journey toward local dedicated funding. This included a decision matrix and a step-by-step outline of what it takes (click to link to documents). The conference ended with county and city-level teams identifying and submitting their next steps. Their steps included everything from exploratory discussions with allies, to meetings with the local Chamber of Commerce, to finding a champion in law enforcement in the community. Many groups chose to start by developing a Children's Budget and researching local expenditures on children, youth and families. Some counties are considering measures to fund preschool; others are thinking about soda taxes to fund health services; and still others want to replicate the children's funds of San Francisco and Oakland.
WE WANT TO HELP - If you would like more information and help considering options for your community, please feel free to call.
And remember: No more prizes for predicting rain. Prizes only for building arks.
Founder and Director
Funding the Next Generation
|Margaret Brodkin urged conference participants to join the "local revolution," and emphasized the potential momentum of having half a dozen pioneering communities be successful in creating local public funding streams for kids. She cautioned: "Don't be afraid to talk in very concrete terms about money - attach specific funding proposals to all your data, policy recommendations and agendas."|
Types of Local Government
The Orrick Public Finance Group created a white paper
especially for the conference and for children's services.
The documents describe local government funding options and requirements for passage, for the following:
Common Types of General or Special Taxes
- Utility User Tax
- Transient Occupancy Tax
- Add-on Sales Tax
- Business License Taxes (includes soda taxes and rental car taxes)
- Documentary Transfer Taxes
- Admission Taxes
Common Types of Special Taxes
- Parcel Taxes
- Mello-Roos Taxes for Services
- Public Library Special Taxes
- Property assessments
- Property related fees or charges
- Other fees or charges
THANK YOU, ORRICK TEAM, FOR THIS EXCELLENT INFORMATION.
Click to connect:
Local Government Funding Options
First 5 Association of CA
- California Child Care Resource and Referral Network
-California School-Age Consortium
- Children Now
- Children's Defense Fund California
- Prevent Child Abuse California
- California Network of Family Strengthening Networks
- California Coverage and Health Initiatives
- The Children's Partnership- Youth Leadership Institute
Pro-Bono Legal Team
Orrick Public Finance Group
Sierra Health Foundation
Conference Funders included:
The California Endowment
Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz and Associates