The Children’s Amendment was passed by the voters for the first time in 1991, thanks to a grassroots community-led campaign, and was reauthorized by San Francisco voters in 2000.
The Children’s Amendment mandates that the City sets aside approximately 3% of the city’s property tax revenue (in what’s called the “Children’s Fund”), to be spent on services for children, youth and their families. It also and mandated a Children’s Baseline Budget, which prevented budget cuts to the amount allocated to children’s services. This includes funding for: Early Care and Education; Out of School Time; Family Support; Youth Leadership, Empowerment and Development; Violence Prevention and Intervention; and more.
When this groundbreaking amendment was up for re-authorization in November of 2000, YLI staff and youth collaborated in the design and distribution of the campaign’s canvassing materials, which were printed and distributed by the thousands for the campaign. YLI also helped secure funding from a local private foundation for key polling on the campaign, which helped build campaign morale and shape campaign messages.
The Children’s Fund was reauthorized by city voters in a landslide victory in 2000 as “Prop D”. In 2011, the Children’s Fund celebrated its 20th Anniversary San Francisco’s City Hall with the majority of the city’s elected officials and hundreds of community members in attendance.
In 2011, DCYF had a budget of more than $100 million, including the Children’s Fund ($50 million) and additional city government investments in children that had been won over the years through grassroots community advocacy and organizing. These funds support more than 40,000 children, more than 200 community-based children and youth programs, programs in our public schools, and a wide range of services that create opportunities for thousands of low income children struggling to stay and survive in San Francisco.