Thanks to all of the organizing efforts, California is now one step closer to actualizing our vision for fairly funded schools and community services like health clinics and senior centers. After months of signature gathering supported by volunteers and a strong coalition of community groups, the School & Communities First Act qualified for the 2020 ballot with over 860,000 signatures! This would not have been possible without the support of volunteers who collected well over 100,000 of those. As the Alameda County anchor for the volunteer signature gathering campaign, Oakland Rising served as a hub for the collection of nearly 11,000 signatures.

Once it is passed, the Schools & Communities First Act will take back the Billions of dollars that are robbed from our communities every year as corporations take advantage of a property tax loophole. This 40-year-old loophole is the direct cause of per-pupil spending in Californian schools plummeting from amongst the top, leaving us now with almost the worst educational performances in the country. It’s time to put the future of our youth before corporate profits! We must organize diligently in the next two years to ensure that the voters will support the Schools & Communities First Act.

Oakland Rising’s Community Organizer Laneisha Butler spoke at the press conference, linking the legacy of this corporate tax loophole to the underfunding of schools particularly in working-class Black communities. Watch footage of Laneisha connecting the dots between the Schools & Communities First Act and increasing opportunities in our communities.

To learn more about Schools and Communities First, check out our post from April.




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