The Coleman Report • November 5, 2014  

A weekly update on issues, policies and actions affecting children, youth and families in San Francisco. 

 

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Last night, San Francisco voters made history by voting to set aside more than $125 million in annual funding for school and children’s programs across the city, for the next 25 years! 

Coleman is proud of the leadership role we played over the last two years in the development and passage of Prop C, the “Children and Families First” initiative. Especially given the skyrocketing cost-of-living and the growing gap between the rich and the poor in San Francisco, it is more essential than ever that we are leveraging our public resources to help build a city where ALL children and families can thrive.

Coleman helped to found and staff the Children’s Funding Community Coalition and engaged hundreds of community providers, young people and parents through town halls, conferences and online surveys to develop the policy recommendations that became the foundation for the initiative. As a direct result of our advocacy, a significant increase to the Children’s Fund was added to the legislation, as well as new support for transitional age youth. We trained students, parents, and service providers to be powerful spokespeople for the initiative and for the 6 weeks leading up to the elections, Coleman staff and members, along with our Coalition partners, went door to door in the neighborhoods where we live and work to get the word out to voters.

Coleman would like to extend our deep appreciation to the many community groups who contributed over the past two years to the development and passage of Prop C. We also want to thank the Board of Supervisors (with special shout-outs to Supervisors Avalos, Yee, and Kim), the Board of Education, Superintendent Carranza, and Mayor Lee. Finally, we want to express our sincere gratitude to the hundreds of individuals who dedicated countless evening and weekend hours educating voters, and the over 100,000 people that used their voting power to support children and families in San Francisco!    

Coleman staff and youth and parent members, as part of the San Francisco Rising Alliance, also worked hard to educate voters about three other ballot initiatives that speak to the daily struggles faced by the low-income communities of color that make up our membership: the minimum wage, criminalization of communities/over-incarceration, and gentrification/displacement.

Prop 47: Last night, California became the first state in the country to end felony sentencing for key non-violent crimes, which will create new opportunities for tens of thousands of Californians. Proposition 47 is a crucial step towards addressing the unjust mass incarceration of poor communities and people of color. Prop 47 will reduce the state’s prison population allowing California to direct hundreds of millions in prison savings per year to K-12 education, victim services, and mental health and drug treatment programs. It will also reduce barriers to employment and housing for formerly incarcerated individuals charged of petty crimes. This is a significant victory for our communities.

Prop J: San Francisco voters are officially on the forefront of a national fight for a real living wage for all workers. With the passage of Prop J, the minimum wage in San Francisco will rise to $15/hour. San Francisco has the fastest growing wealth divide and the highest housing costs in the country. The previous minimum wage of $10.74 left working families unable to cover basic living expenses. Passage of Prop J is a powerful economic justice and workers rights victory that will make a real difference in the lives of our city’s working families.

Prop G: Prop G failing to pass is a tremendous loss for working families in San Francisco. Prop G would have been a critical push back on one of the strongest driving forces of gentrification and displacement in the city: speculation. Leading up to the elections, Coleman staff and members were repeatedly shocked and disheartened by the profound misunderstandings about the initiative shared with us by many of the voters we talked to. Prop G opposition forces – in large part out-of-town developers – invested millions in attack ads and a widespread misinformation campaign. In the face of these major obstacles, we continued to pound the pavement with our SF rising allies to disseminate the truth of Prop G and the harmful effects that unmitigated speculation is having in our neighborhoods.

It is a testament to the power of grassroots voter engagement efforts and a growing anti-gentrification sentiment in the city that – despite being exponentially outspent by the opposition – Prop G won 46% of the vote. Now is the time for regrouping and assessment and applying lessons learned toward our collective next steps in the ongoing fight for the soul of our city.  Onward!

 Click here for detailed San Francisco and California election results.

 

Coleman's Director of Programs, Chelsea Boilard, MCing last night's Prop C Election Night Celebration. 

 

 

 

 
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