Imagine having access to medical care despite your income level or employment status. Imagine our youth thriving by having California schools rise up from near last (41st!) in the country back to the top 5 in student investment. Imagine the potholes of our streets filled in, our libraries open 7 days a week, our parks clean and safe, and affordable housing development properly funded.
Thank you to supporters who have signed the California Schools and Communities First petition and volunteers who have helped gather signatures to qualify this initiative which will bring money back to our schools and local community services like public health clinics and libraries. While it was originally slated to qualify for the November 2018 ballot, the coalition has decided to qualify the initiative this year for the 2020 ballot.
In just three months since filing the ballot measure with the Attorney General, the coalition has grown to more than 200 endorsements, including local and state elected officials, labor unions, statewide advocacy groups and business leaders. Prominent supporters include the League of Women Voters, California State PTA, and California Federation of Teachers. Over 70 organizations and several thousand volunteers are collecting signatures to qualify the measure.
What Does the California Schools and Communities First Initiative Do?
If passed in 2020, the initiative will raise an estimated $11 Billion annually by closing a 40-year-old tax loophole that corporations have been exploiting at the expense of our communities. By making corporations pay their fair share of property tax (aka reforming Prop 13), we can lift California’s public school system back up to among the top performing in the nation AND make sure that other vital community services like public health clinics have the public funding they need to thrive.
This is an epic battle, and taking on the fight in 2020 will best set us up to win:
• As a presidential election, turnout will be high in 2020, and we will be in an even stronger position to turnout people of color, young voters, and immigrant voters.
• Our opposition has pledged to spend over $100 million to defeat any attempt to reform corporate property tax. This gives us two years to lay the foundation to win by expanding our growing coalition, shifting public opinion, and raising a war chest to counter the deep pockets of our opponents.
And by qualifying this year, we will be guaranteed to have the initiative placed near the top of the ballot, helping it to receive more votes.
With more than 300,000 signatures already collected, we are feeling confident that we will collect the 585,000 valid signatures required to qualify — but we still need volunteers to help us collect signatures by the end of June 2018. Learn more about how you can get involved!
We’ve been building momentum the past 9 years by talking to voters in East and West Oakland about bringing resources back into our community via corporate property tax reform. In 2019, we and our allies will wage a large scale public education campaign to increase broad public support and expand our army of grassroots leaders and activists leading the fight.
In 2020, the fight will be on!
Read more on the decision to qualify for 2020 in the LA Times.
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