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Amidst Budget Crises, Local Elected Leaders Rally Behind Schools & Communities First

New report shows how investments generated by Schools & Communities First would go towards critical local services and essential workers

Schools & Communities First released a new report detailing how investments generated by requiring large corporations and wealthy investors to pay fair market value on their property would be distributed to local governments. Local elected leaders from across California joined a virtual press conference addressing the current budget crises and forcefully articulated why Schools & Communities First is needed now more than ever.

As cities, counties, and the state face unprecedented shortfalls, Schools & Communities First is a critical part of the long-term solution to how California recovers from this crisis and invests in our future. 

Below are some takeaways from the press conference, which can be viewed in full here

San Francisco Mayor London Breed:

“When I look at our dire budget deficits over the next couple of years, and then I see these revenue estimates showing how much we can invest in our community without having to raise any taxes on residents, it makes it more important for me to give my full support on this initiative. Any local official will have a tough time explaining to their constituents why, in the midst of this crisis, they didn’t support closing corporate tax loopholes to bring more resources back locally for our schools and local communities.”

Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs:

“Post COVID-19, we’ll have children and families and communities and schools who we’ll need to make sure they’re not on the chopping block, and we have an opportunity to do that by closing corporate tax loopholes and ensuring that we’re investing in the things that will make our communities great. That we’re investing in the people who are essential. That we’re investing in our future.”

Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez:

“We serve the highest-need people in our community – counties are safety nets. Pre-COVID-19 we were working on housing homeless people, making sure we were providing mental health services, particularly for families and children – and those services couldn’t be more important today. … The reason Schools & Communities First is so important is it literally says, as a state, we’re raising up the neediest in our community. We’re going to invest in them.”

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl:

“With the steep cuts in our county budget we’ll be faced with really difficult decisions that will jeopardize people’s access to these critically needed services. I was supportive very early on of Schools & Communities First before the COVID-19 pandemic, but now this initiative is needed more than ever, because we simply can’t afford these corporate tax loopholes that have gone on for decades.”

Huron Mayor Rey León:

“Huron is a really small farmworker community. … We stretch taxpayer dollars as far as they can go, but there’s only so much we can do especially when a crisis like this hits. Cities like mine need the Schools & Communities First initiative. This money will go an extremely long way. There are a lot of issues, especially in terms of youth programs, that we could support.”

The Schools & Communities First initiative, which recently submitted a historic 1.7 million signatures of support, will reclaim $12 billion every year for essential local services and schools by closing corporate tax loopholes – all while protecting homeowners and renters, small businesses, and agriculture from any changes. Recent polling, both internally and from PPIC, have consistently shown that Schools & Communities First is supported by a majority of likely California voters. According to research conducted by the University of Southern California, 78% of the revenue would come from only 6% of commercial and industrial properties.

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Paid for by Yes on 15 - Schools and Communities First sponsored by a Coalition of Labor Groups and Social Justice Organizations Representing Families, Students and Essential Workers.

Committee major funding from:

California Teachers Association

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Advocacy

SEIU California State Council