IT’S OFFICIAL: Schools & Communities First Qualifies for November Ballot

After garnering record-breaking 1.7 million signatures of support, Schools & Communities First continues gaining momentum

Today, the Schools & Communities First initiative officially qualified for the November ballot. This comes after the campaign had submitted a historic 1.7 million signatures of support, an effort powered by the 300+ social justice, faith-based, education, labor and philanthropic organizations powering Schools & Communities First and the tens of thousands of volunteers, endorsers, and supporters throughout California.

This historic effort to generate $12 billion every year for critical local services, essential workers, and schools by closing corporate tax loopholes comes at a time of unprecedented hardship throughout California. As school districts, local governments, and the state face historic budget shortfalls, one thing is clear: Schools & Communities First will be key to California’s recovery and reinvestment, and we simply can’t afford corporate tax loopholes at the expense of our state’s future. With this initiative, we can invest in those local governments, essential workers like first responders and public health nurses, and schools that will be so critical to recovering from this crisis – while protecting homeowners and renters, small businesses, and agriculture. Simply put, we can’t afford corporate tax loopholes at the expense of these essential services and workers.

Elected, health care, and education leaders have emphasized these important points in recent days:

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.”

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.”

Health Access California Executive Director Anthony Wright

“We can close the corporate tax loopholes in order to support and invest in our public health, our critical local services, our schools, and our essential workers on the frontlines of this crisis. Schools & Communities First will generate billions for local governments to allocate toward public health and other health and human services that are more crucial than ever.”

Los Angeles Unified School District Board Member Jackie Goldberg

"We set up crash courses for our teachers to learn how to do distance teaching, but even so, we know there’s a learning gap that will continue to grow, placing students of color, low-income kids, homeless youth, kids in foster care, students with special needs and immigrant students at a greater disadvantage. ... When this initiative passes, it will ensure that we will not only get through the virus to prevent cutting vital services to either our children's or our communities."

The Schools & Communities First initiative will reclaim $12 billion every year for local governments and schools by closing corporate tax loopholes – while protecting homeowners and renters, small businesses, and agriculture from any changes. According to research conducted by the University of Southern California, 78% of the revenue would come from only 6% of commercial and industrial properties. In addition to PPIC polling showing a 7 point increase in support for the measure over the past six months, internal polling of the ballot language that voters will see in November showed 58% support from likely California voters.

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