A New 40 Year Legacy for California
We have reached an incredible and historic milestone in our effort to shape a new legacy for California - mid-August we are submitted over 860,000 signatures to qualify Schools and Communities First for the November 2020 ballot. Yesterday, hundreds of members of our coalition celebrated at 5 press conferences across the state in San Diego, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Fresno, and the Bay Area.
Over the last 40 years, California has lost hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue thanks to Prop 13, leading to chronic underfunding of schools and services, poor local land use decisions, disinvestment in local communities, and a spiraling housing crisis.
Now, Californians are ready to fight to reclaim over $11 billion robbed every year from schools and local communities, shaping a new legacy of investment in the people of California.
No commercial property tax reform measure has ever gained enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. Not only will School and Communities First qualify, we have gone above and beyond the amount of signatures needed to secure a spot on the ballot for the November 2020 general election.
In just 6 months:
● We raised $3.6 million from scores of donors - large and small - that had the courage to stand with us and insist that now is the time for the bold change our communities need. Special thanks to the San Francisco Foundation, the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, United Teachers of Los Angeles, the California Federation of Teachers, the American Federation of Teachers, Molly Munger and Steve English, Liz Simons, and Bill Resnick and Michael Stubbs.
● The Schools and Communities First Coalition, with over 25 organizations on the Steering Committee, also contributed mightily to make this happen with donations ranging from $2,500 to $250,000.
● 5,000 local activists and 90 organizations up and down California collected over 105,000 signatures from their friends, neighbors, and co-workers to qualify the measure for the ballot.
● We secured nearly 300 endorsements—including the California State PTA, California Association of NonProfits, the California Association of Retired Americans, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and Oakland City Council—along with dozens of local elected officials.
What we are building is powerful. We are uniting California around a new vision of shared prosperity - from north to south, urban and rural, workers and business leaders, seniors and young people, teachers and students, long-time residents and newcomers. The work to get here has been long and hard, but we always knew taking on the taking on the ‘“third rail of California’s politics” would not be easy.
Now we begin the next phase of this historic battle. Submitting our signatures is the first step, now the work of building the mass base of support we need to win begins.
Join us as we move forward in making history.
Anthony Thigpenn, California Calls