There is no place in the country that has passed as many and more different ballot measures to generate funding for young people than Oakland, California.

To generate revenue, Oakland has used four different kinds of local taxes including sales, parcel (three times), excise tax per ounce sweetened beverage, and a parking garage surcharge; as well as a set-aside of the City’s General Purpose Fund (a reallocation of existing dollars). Together, they generate over $135M annually.

Uneven paths to victory - Some of Oakland’s measures passed the first time on the ballot; one not only took two attempts but also turning it into a voter initiative; and another took three attempts to get the right balance of funding between law enforcement and prevention. In one case, a measure was reauthorized to generate higher revenues and then replaced with a lower amount in the next election to balance the impact on the City’s General Purpose Fund.

Diversity of campaign leadership - Some of the campaigns were led by grassroots groups that stayed active in multiple campaigns; one was led by the Mayor and a member of Congress; one by a city council member and health advocates; one featured a parent-led group advocating for childcare; one was a unique collaboration between the school district and community; and another a winning combination of partners, including a hospital and a labor union.