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Smart Voter
San Francisco County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Proposition C
Children's Fund; Public Education Enrichment Fund; Children and Families Council; Rainy Day Reserve
City and County of San Francisco

Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 159,800 / 74.44% Yes votes ...... 54,880 / 25.56% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Yes/No Meaning | Arguments |

Shall the City amend the Charter to support services to children, youth, and their families by extending the Children's Fund for 25 years and increasing its funding; extending the Public Education Enrichment Fund for 26 years; creating an Our Children, Our Families Council; and dividing the existing Rainy Day Reserve into a City Rainy Day Reserve and a School District Rainy Day Reserve?

Proposition C is a Charter Amendment that would change the way the City funds and administers services to children, youth, and their families.

Children's Fund Proposition C would extend the Children's Fund and the property tax set-aside for 25 years, until June 30, 2041. Proposition C would increase the property tax set-aside gradually over the next four years to 4 cents for each $100 of assessed property value.The proposal would not increase or otherwise change property taxes; it would only affect the amount of property tax revenues set aside for the Fund.

Proposition C would also extend the age group served by the Children's Fund to include youth aged 18 through 24 years old.

Fiscal Impact:
Should the proposed charter amendment be approved by the voters, in my opinion, it would have a significant impact on the cost of government. The proposed amendment would change the current Children's Fund, Children's Baseline and Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF) requirements in the Charter by increasing the existing property tax set- aside which funds children's services, increasing the City's general fund contribution to the PEEF and creating a separate City-funded School Rainy Day Reserve. The proposed amendment would establish these set- asides and the reserve for a new 26 year period, through June 30, 2041. The total annual increased funding from the City's General Fund to children's services and public education would be approximately $21 million and there would be a one-time transfer of $16.6 million to the School Reserve in 2015.

The Children's Fund and Children's Baseline The current set-aside of property taxes for children's services is three cents per hundred dollars of assessed property value, equal to $49.1 million as of the last fiscal year (FY) 2013+14.The amendment proposes an increase to four cents, adding approximately $16.3 million to the set-aside for an estimated new total of approximately $65.4 million annually.

Property tax revenue is currently available for any public purpose and as these funds are shifted to children's programs, other City spending would have to be reduced or new revenues identified to maintain current service levels.The proposed increase in this property tax set-aside would also decrease the City's discretionary revenue and therefore affect other City programs with baseline budget amounts tied to that figure. Baseline budget amounts for the Municipal Transportation Agency, the Library, and the PEEF would be reduced by an aggregate amount of $2.4 million. The Charter requires that in addition to the property tax set-aside, the City also maintain the same levels of spending on children's services as existed before the This measure requires 50%+1 affirmative votes to pass. The above statement is an impartial analysis of this measure. Arguments for and against this measure immediately follow. The full text begins on page 186. Some of the words used in the ballot digest are explained starting on page 60. 

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
If you vote "yes," you want the City to amend the Charter to support services to children, youth, and their families by:
  • extending the Children's Fund for 25 years and increasing its funding;
  • extending the Public Education Enrichment Fund for 26 years;
  • creating an Our Children, Our Families Council; and
  • dividing the existing Rainy Day Reserve into a City Rainy Day Reserve and a School Rainy Day Reserve.

A NO vote on this measure means:
If you vote "no," you do not want the City to reauthorize the Children's Fund and the Public Education Enrichment Fund or to make these changes to the Charter.

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Arguments For Proposition C Arguments Against Proposition C
The Board of Supervisors and Mayor are proud to unanimously support Prop C, the "Children and Families First" Initiative, to strengthen public education and support services for children, youth, and families in San Francisco, while increasing accountability and oversight of public funding.

With no increase to taxes, Proposition C reauthorizes the highly successful Children's Fund and Public Education Enrichment Fund (PEEF). Proposition C maximizes our City's existing revenue sources to continue and deepen investment in our children and young people. If we don't act now $125 million will be removed from children's services in San Francisco each year, a price our children simply can't afford.

Prop C also establishes a citywide "Our Children, Our Families" Council, bringing together a broad cross- section of experts from city departments, SFUSD, and the community to streamline, coordinate, and ensure quality programming and services.

San Francisco voters improved the lives of generations of children with the passage of PEEF in 2004 and the nationally-acclaimed Children's Fund in 1991 and 2001. PEEF provides critical funding for preschool; sports, libraries, art, music, and school health centers; and other vital educational programming not funded by the state of California.

We can't stop now. We need to do everything we can to provide high quality education and enrichment opportunities for all of our children and youth, make San Francisco livable for our families, and ensure that those with the most need are given the best opportunity to thrive. San Francisco's future depends on it.

Rebuttal to Arguments For
That's the direction sponsors of Proposition C are headed. The measure labels 18 to 24 year old adults as "Transitional-Aged Youth".

The politicians behind this plan are in "handout" mode now, but labeling people as "Transitional-Aged Youth" could later be used to take away rights of young people.

It's not hard to imagine some future measure restricting persons designated in city programs as Transitional-Aged Youth from fully engaging in "adult" activities.

Let government treat you like a child so you can be eligible for more "free" stuff, and you may soon find them treating you like a child in ways that aren't so nice.

Thank you for coming out today to learn why you need to vote for The "Children and Families First" initiative.

The title is a little cloying?

Yes, well, can't be helped. What'd you expect us to call it?

The "Gays and Singles Last" initiative? Come on, that's not good politics! A little sugar-coating never hurts.

No, NOT in sodas! Sugar-coating EXCEPT in sodas! See here, the important thing is -- What? Didn't you read through the 50-page legislation? Right here, page 4, it explains this proposal is "essential in ensuring the health and success of every San Francisco child."

You don't really believe a slush fund cooked up in City Hall is all that stands between the children of San Francisco and the possibility of tragic illness and failure!?

Dear me, where's your faith in government? Aren't you a loyal, bleeding-heart constituent who always votes

"yes" on any measure we kick down to you that has the word "children" or "schools" in the title?

Yes, we promise the money will be frugally spent. We're your Supervisors! When have we ever lied to you?

Yes, only for its stated purposes.Yes we pinkie-swear!

No, I'm not crossing my fingers, I just like to keep my hands behind my back. Oh very well!

No, that bump in my shoe isn't me crossing my toes! I have a bunion. I do!

Look, why are you making such a fuss? This is routine. Six months from now you'll have forgotten all about it. A year from now you'll be ready to eat some more porker, I mean vote for another vital initiative to invest in our future.

But you MUST vote for the "Children and Families First" initiative. Why it's... "For The Children!"TM

Rebuttal to Arguments Against
San Francisco's future depends on how we take care of our youth today. Investments in high-quality education and support services for our children come back to us many times over by growing our economy, building a skilled work force, reducing wealth gaps, and developing the next generation of artists, educators, health care providers, entrepreneurs, engineers, and community leaders.

Our city has come together repeatedly to stand up for children, including passage of the Children's Fund and Public Education Enrichment Fund.These funds are about to expire and must be extended, in order to protect critical investments in preschool, arts, music, sports, libraries, college and career counseling, health services, violence prevention, and many other areas that profoundly shape our young people's experiences and future prospects.

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Created: July 23, 2015 14:58 PDT
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