Promoting Local Revenue StreamsMay, 2014

Funding the Next Generation is taking another important step forward to support California's children - launching a formal learning community.   This will be a group of communities, like Merced pictured below, ready to lay the groundwork for a dedicated funding stream.  Participants will learn from each other, and from some of the state's most formidable experts about developing the right strategy for their community, creating a winning proposal, gathering the necessary information to make a powerful case, and cultivating the civic and political environment. 
Merced's "Invest in Our Youth Coalition" speakers celebrating after an awesome presentation to the City Council about making youth employment and recreation a budget priority.  

If you want to be part of this inaugural cohort of communities, please fill out the survey below (if you have not already):

Contact me at the e-mail or number listed below for questions. I want to hear from anyone interested.
A Napa coalition, calling itself Funding the Next Generation in Napa County, is beginning its journey toward a dedicated funding stream by creating the first Bill of Rights for the children and youth of Napa.  After an initial conference attended by over 75 key stakeholders, a followup meeting involved drafting the document.  The above picture includes (those facing us) Howard Hime, the Director of Health and Human Services; Mark Diel, the Executive Director of the Children's Health Initiative; Brad Wagenkneckt, member of the Board of Supervisors; and Joelle Gallegos, ED of COPE Family Center.  Before the meeting ended, the group, which represented public and private leaders in the children's field, had agreed to 8 basic rights that all Napa children must have.   April, 2014

For the past four months a dedicated group in Richmond, convened by RYSE Youth Center, a non-profit committed to social justice and youth empowerment, has been forming the Invest in Youth Coalition - with the explicit goal of creating a dedicated Fund or Department that would increase resources for youth. 

Kimberley Aceves, Executive Director of RYSE discusses the potential of a children's fund at the Invest in Youth organizing meeting with West Contra Costa County School Board member Madeline Kronenberg and City Council member Jael Myrick.

The group has created working committees that include Budget Analysis and Youth Engagement.  Already, the City of Richmond has agreed to collect data on how much is spent on children and youth - after a meeting with the emerging Coalition. On May 6 the Coalition issued a broad invitation to join.  The excitement in the room was palpable.  



Pictured above:  

A panel of local and state elected officials listened intently to the testimony of service providers and youth at the 2014 First Annual Children and Families Policy Forum entitled "Investing in Our Children: It Makes Perfect Cents."  Alan Kerzin, Executive Director of the Children's Network of Solano County, moderated the panel and the summit, which was sponsored by his organization along with a broad network of children's groups.
Pictured to the left: Margaret Brodkin speaks at the Forum urging participants to consider a dedicated funding stream.


If you are interested in learning more about Funding the Next Generation and helping your city or county explore the potential of a dedicated public funding stream for children, youth and families, please contact me.

Margaret Brodkin
Founder and Director 
Logo Funding the Next Generation      
phone: 415-794-4963 

Jamileh Ebrahimi, Youth Organizing Director of the RYSE Youth Center in Richmond, presenting on the Funding the Next Generation panel at the Northern California Summit on "Transforming Lives and Creating Equity for Boys and Men of Color" sponsored by the Richmond Community Foundation.
May 1, 2014

Presentation to Cities CountiesSchools Partnership
Margaret Brodkin and Jill Wynns developed 10 lessons on creating a dedicated revenue stream for children, youth and families for a presentation to elected officials at the Executive Committee of the Cities Counties Schools Partnership.  After the presentation several officials in attendance stated their desire to work on measures for their local communities.

1. California faces a once-a-generation opportunity - with the convergence of unprecendented needs of children and a new level of awareness and allies and a recovering economy.
2. The local level offers the greatest potential for revenue measures.
3. Polls show that kids are a powerful political issue.
4. Creating a strong foundation of information is an essential first step.
5. Educating the public and policy-makers about the wisdom of investing in kids pays off.
6. A coalition with everyone at the table results in widespread support.
7. Successful measures often contain a "sweetener" for the public - something universally popular.
8. Cities, counties and school districts can collaborate to get needed resources.
9. The potential for resources creates a forum for negotiations that benefit children.  Funding measures can leverage policy change.
10. Public opinion evolves - momentum changes the civic and political culture - or THE MORE YOU GET THE MORE YOU CAN GET.

San Francisco created the first dedicated funding stream in California - maybe the nation - for kids.  It has been the model and inspiration for emerging efforts. The SF Children's Fund is about to be re-authorized by the voters.  A Children's Fund Community Coalition has been meeting for a year and a half, and has developed proposals for improving the legislation - demonstrating that making public policy is an evolving process.  Some recommended improvements are:
  • Increase the Fund by 67%, or approximately $33 M in current dollars.
  • Include Transitional Age Youth up to age 24, and change the name of the Fund to the Children and Youth Fund.
  • Create an oversight Commission for the Department of Children, Youth and Their Families to increase accountability and public participation in decision-making.
  • Require a Service Coordination plan to be developed by Mayor.
  • Expand the funding cycle to 5 years to provide ample time for programs to be implemented and reach their goals.
  • Require more transparency and public input into the planning for the use of the Fund.
  • Require involvement of all city departments in a Community Needs Assessment and the Services, Coordination and Allocation plan.
  • Create a Service Provider Advisory Committee to facilitate collaboration between those inside and outside government.
  • Require system-level and program-level evaluation and capacity building for providers.
  • Funding the Next Generation
    California's first initiative to help communities develop local public funding streams for children, youth and families.

    Collaborating Partners
    - California Child Care Resource and Referral Network
    -California School-Age Consortium

     - Children Now
    - Children's Defense Fund California
    - First 5 Association of California
     - Prevent Child Abuse California 
     - California Network of Family Strengthening Networks 
    - California Coverage and Health Initiatives
    - Kidango
    - Tramutola Advisers
    - Fairbank, Maslin, Maulin, Metz and Associates
    - The Children's Partnership
    - Youth Leadership Institute

    Pro-Bono Legal Team   
    Orrick Public Finance Group