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September Newsletter

Voters Say “Yes” to

Whatcom’s Kids

In November 2022, voters in Whatcom County, WA, said “yes” to kids and passed a property tax levy that will raise $10 million annually for infants, toddlers, and young children. The amazing part? In an election with more than 100,000 votes cast, the Yes for Whatcom Kids campaign won by just 20 votes. The levy will invest in high-quality early learning and child care, mental health services for pregnant parents and young families, and housing supports to help prevent family homelessness.

Our new case study explains how they did it and why every action—and vote—matters. 

Read the Case Study

What's New

Recording: How to Prioritize Kids in Your State Legislative Session

In our most recent webinar, we highlight five different types of bills advocates can use to direct more sustained state funding to early childhood.

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The Role of Funders in Strategic Public Financing

Funders are uniquely positioned to help states and communities pursue strategic public financing. Our new fact sheet breaks down three steps funders can take to better leverage public funding. 

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Upcoming Webinar: State Spending for Children and Youth

Ever wondered how much states spend on programs and services for children? Then join us for a webinar on November 16 at 2 p.m. EST where we will share national trend data about how states use their state, federal, and pandemic relief funding to support children and youth from cradle to career. 

Register Now

In Case You Missed It

What Advocates Should Know About the Federal Budget Process

Our federal funding expert, Alicia Wilson-Ahlstrom, presented in a recent webinar about how advocates in Michigan and beyond can get their fair share of funding for children and families. 

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Five Years of Funding Our Kids

As we mark our fifth anniversary this summer, we’re looking back at the people, places, and events that helped us succeed. Read our impact report to learn more about our work through the years.

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Spotlight on Los Angeles County

In 2020, voters in Los Angeles County voted to set aside a significant part of the county budget to support alternatives to incarceration in the community, including youth programs. Now, $122 million is available to organizations in the county through its Care First Community Investment program, the first batch of what could become nearly $1 billion annually set aside for community services.

For more about the story behind this win, read what Margaret Brodkin, director of Funding the Next Generation (our fiscally sponsored project), says about it below. Then check out our 2020 keynote panel featuring one of the advocates behind the measure, Isaac Bryan, who has since gone on to become a California assembly member. 

"In 2020, 57% of the Los Angeles County electorate voted to set-aside 10% of their discretionary local budget for community investments. It was a justice reform measure, as well as a measure for a wide range of social services, from mental health to housing, since none of the funds could be spent on the justice system. The city, advocates reasoned, would most likely have to reallocate money from law enforcement to create the new multi-million dollar fund. It was a landmark event in Los Angeles, as well as for our emerging movement to increase dollars for services for children, youth and families. Estimates for 10% of discretionary dollars ranged from $300M to $900M.

Immediately after it passed, a coalition of unions led by the Association for LA Deputy Sheriff's took the measure to court saying that it was unconstitutional for the electorate to make budget decisions for a Board of Supervisors. The Superior Court agreed with the unions. However, the CA 2nd District Court of Appeal just overrode that decision!!!! It took 2 years, but democracy won! Voters can now tell their Board of Supervisors about how their money can (and can't) be spent. It must be noted that opponents have until September 6 to appeal. We'll keep you posted.

Sign up for updates from Funding the Next Generation here.

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