Agreement reached on consensus measure for November ballot to reform SF’s business tax
Mayor Lee, Board of Supervisors President Chiu and Supervisor Avalos announced yesterday that they reached agreement on a consensus measure for the November 2012 ballot to reform San Francisco’s business tax structure, create more than 1,750 new private sector jobs on an average annual basis and generate $28.5M in new revenue for the City’s general fund in its first year.
Click here to read about the details of the initiative, the implementation timeline, and how – by taxing based on profit rather than payroll expenses – the measure will protect small businesses, promote hiring, and ensure that SF’s largest income businesses are paying more of their fair share in taxes.
Coleman, along with our allies on the Progressive Revenue Coalition, participated in a press conference yesterday announcing the consensus measure. City officials, along with representatives from the business community and labor, participated in the press conference and staff members from Coleman, South of Market Community Action Network (SOMCAM) and Chinese Progressive Association (CPA) spoke about the significance of the measure being revenue generating and how all new income generated must be used to address the most urgent needs of our communities, including affordable housing and workforce development.
The Progressive Revenue Coalition, a collaborative effort of Labor and Community, works to develop proposals and implement strategies for creative revenue solutions to the local budget crisis. It is convened by the SF chapter of Jobs with Justice and current leadership includes Coleman Advocates, Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), SEIU 1021, AFT 2121, San Francisco Rising, and the Labor Council. In 2010, the progressive revenue coalition helped get both Prop J (hotel tax) and Prop N (real estate transfer tax) on the ballot. The voters passed prop N, and this past year it raised over $60M for the city.
With the consensus initiative, the Progressive Revenue Coalition has achieved its objective of ensuring that only one (as opposed to multiple competing) revenue generating business tax reform measure is on the November ballot. And while our original vision for the measure included a much more substantial revenue goal, we do consider it a success that the agreed upon measure does include a non-trivial income generating component – particularly considering that the Mayor’s original proposal was not revenue generating at all and his revised proposal included a revenue objective of only $13M.
Once passed by the voters in November, we look forward to ensuring that new revenue raised by the measure is put to strategic use serving the city’s most struggling communities. Meanwhile, along with our partners in the Progressive Revenue Coalition, Coleman will continue to explore and push for additional – and more aggressive – progressive revenue strategies to ensure that big business in San Francisco is truly paying their fair share and that the city has the resources to address our communities increasingly urgent housing, education, employment and other survival needs.
For more information contact Christina Canaveral at firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth Groups Rally SFMTA To Convert Parking Lot To Affordable Housing
Staff and leaders from Youth Making a Change (YMAC), Coleman’s youth organizing and leadership development project, joined our partners in Communities United for Health and Justice (CUHJ) at a rally last Thursday to demand that SF transit officials convert an old rail yard known as the “Upper Yard” into an affordable housing complex. The land in question is near the Balboa Park BART station in the Excelsior, the district with the highest density of families with children in the entire city. New affordable housing will be crucial to addressing the growing housing crisis in the Excelsior district where every day low and even middle income families are pushed out of the city because of soaring housing costs. At the rally, CUHJ announced the release of a report, developed in collaboration with Asian Neighborhood Design, which makes a strong case for the need and ability to develop affordable housing in the Upper Yard.*
The week prior to the rally, a group of youth from Coleman, PODER (People Organized to Demand Environmental Rights), FCC (Filipino Community Center) and CPA (Chinese Progressive Association) met with SFMTA Director Ed Reiskin and Supervisor Avalos regarding the possible release of the land to the Mayor’s Office of Affordable Housing. At this meeting, and again addressing the crowd at the rally, Reiskin was unwilling to offer a firm commitment. He did, however, in both cases express that it is very likely that the SFMTA will release the land. He shared that the SFMTA Board of Directors has been evaluating the need for the Upper Yard for more than a year and should vote on the proposal to give the space over to the Mayor’s office in the next few months.
Coleman and our CUHJ partners will closely monitor the progress of SFMTA’s ongoing research, hold Director Reiskin accountable to his expressed timeline, and continue to fight for the release of the Upper Yard to the Mayor’s Office of Affordable Housing.
Click here to read the full CUHJ report “Home is Where the Heart Is: A People-Powered Community Vision for the Balboa Park Upper Yard, Excelsior District”
Click here for an “SF Appeal” article about the rally.
Coleman members support development and ratification of 2012 Equal Voice National Family Platform and Policy Recommendations
Over the last month, dozens of Coleman members and leaders have participated, as part of the Equal Voice Network, in the development of an historic National Family Platform. Our youth and parent members were among 6,000 poor families surveyed from Alabama to California about their issue and policy priorities. The platform highlights 13 priority issues, with education at the top of the list. Last week, Coleman’s Executive Director and a parent leader travelled to Los Angeles to participate in the Equal Voice National convening where the platform was officially ratified.
Equal Voice is an initiative of the Marguerite Casey Foundation, one of Coleman’s funders. The foundation, in partnership with its grantees, launched Equal Voice for America’s Families in 2008. The yearlong campaign brought together more than 30,000 families and approximately 250 community organizations to lay the foundation for a multi-issue national family platform that addressed the needs of families across the country. Equal Voice is now a series of networks across the country working to effect policy change that will ensure the economic well-being of families.
Click here to read a press release that includes the full 2012 Equal Voice National Family Platform issue priority list.
This Saturday, Coleman staff and youth and parent leaders will be participating in the Bay Area Equal Voice convening in Oakland. Grantee staff and members from San Francisco, Oakland, Marin and San Jose will be coming together to share information and best practices, receive training and work to coordinate efforts on a citywide and regional basis. The focus of the convening will be on the integrated voter engagement efforts of participating community-based organizations and the importance of increased coordination and collaboration given the historical context of organizational and issue isolation and the current context of dramatically diminishing resources. Coleman leaders, in addition to participating in the convening, will perform spoken word and facilitate convening sessions.
Coleman Welcomes our New Excelsior Parent Organizer!
Coleman Advocates is excited to announce the addition of Ligia Montano to our staff, as our new Excelsior Parent Organizer! Growing up in Nicaragua and Costa Rica, Ligia learned early on how crucial education is to the survival, success and well-being of individuals and communities. She has worked on education equity and access issues in San Francisco for many years with a range of groups, including the District Parent Advisory Council and ExCEL at SFUSD. Ligia is especially committed to supporting and empowering other immigrants to overcome the many structural obstacles to accessing quality education and English communications skills essential to securing living wage jobs in San Francisco. Ligia is also the proud mother of a Balboa High School freshman. We are thrilled to have Ligia as the newest member of the Coleman family.You can reach Ligia at email@example.com
Ligia Montano, Coleman Parent Organizer