We know that investing in children and youth brings multiple benefits to our community. When we increase graduation rates and send more young people to college, we grow our workforce and our economy. When we invest early in infants and children, we prevent many problems from developing down the road. The health of our community depends on our children and young people.
Sac Kids First is organizing to place a measure on the March 2020 ballot that would require the City of Sacramento to set aside 2.5% of its unrestricted revenues, or about $12 million annually, for children and youth services. Not less than 90% of all monies in the Fund must be used for direct services for children and youth. A Citizen’s Planning and Oversight Commission will be responsible for developing a strategic plan and for soliciting and evaluating grant applications from qualified nonprofits and public agencies. The measure does not increase taxes.
In 1996, Oakland created a Children’s Fund. About 24,000 children and youth have benefitted annually from these investments. Independent evaluations have shown that the Fund has made a significant difference in many areas, including improving school attendance. Richmond and San Francisco have also created Children’s Funds.
As in most cities, Sacramento public officials have prioritized enforcement and incarceration. We’ve invested hundreds of millions in downtown. It’s time now to invest in our kids. The creation of a Children’s Fund will represent a bold step forward in improving the health and welfare of our city.
To place the measure on the ballot, we need to gather 55,000 signatures over the next six months. We need your help! Please join us and volunteer!