Success Story: Protecting Baby Proposition C Funding

by Alan Wong, Director of Public Policy Communication

About a month ago, Children’s Council of San Francisco, along with Parent Voices SF, the SF ECE Advocacy Coalition and our Early Childhood Education (ECE) community, faced a significant challenge. We learned that City Hall was considering cuts to Baby Proposition C funding, putting about $65 million at risk over the next four years due to the city’s budget crisis. In response, the SF ECE Advocacy Coalition quickly convened to strategize on how to engage the Mayor’s Office and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Thanks to our ongoing efforts, including Supervisor ECE site visits organized by the Children’s Council and the Coalition, many Supervisors were already aware of the critical work of the ECE community and the necessity of protecting Baby Proposition C funding. Nine out of eleven Supervisors had visited ECE providers, parents, and families at their sites. During a visit with Supervisor Safai in District 11, a parent highlighted the vital importance of Baby Prop C and child care, explaining how he, as part of the “missing middle,” was spending a significant portion of his salary on child care. Another couple, lifelong San Francisco residents, shared that child care was the key factor keeping them in the city after one of them was laid off from a tech job. These personal stories formed the core of our advocacy to protect child care funding.

At the June 13 Budget Committee meeting, our organized efforts paid off. We mobilized over 100 ECE community members to attend the meeting and voice our opposition to the proposed budget cuts during the public comment session. Our presence and advocacy led the Supervisors to delay the proposed cuts, giving us time to negotiate with the Mayor’s Office. Children’s Council, along with other allies from the ECE Advocacy Coalition, engaged in discussions with the Mayor’s Office and members of the Board of Supervisors. We listened, identified opportunities for compromise, and reached out to Supervisor Myrna Melgar, who proposed amendments to reduce the cuts significantly.

On June 20, we returned to the Budget Committee meeting with another strong showing of over 100 ECE community members to support the amendments. Our efforts were successful, and the proposed budget reductions were scaled back. We saved $32 million in future child care funding.

This victory is a testament to the organizing power and relationships we have cultivated and must continue to build.

I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to our Advocacy Department staff for their crucial roles in this success. Alex Maykowski was the driving force behind our efforts, organizing the ECE community, preparing talking points, and ensuring effective communication. Maria Luz Torre played a key role in rallying the community, making our victory possible. At every City Hall hearing, parents and children spoke passionately about the importance of protecting child care funding, catching the attention of our elected leaders. Our department’s intern Sierra Fischer provided essential logistical support, ensuring that we had a strong community turnout at each meeting.

Thank you all for your dedication and hard work in safeguarding the future of our children and families.

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