On Thursday, March 31st, there was a meeting of youth at Youth City Hall in Downtown Sacramento. Its purpose was simple- to gather the youth of Sacramento, inform them of Measure Y, and in hopes, gain their support to then spread the word of the new measure.
The meeting encompassed about 20-25 youth to hear the wording of the new measure. The youth were very involved in asking questions and making sure they understood the measure before involving themselves in the support of the measure.
The measure will be presented in this year’s June election and attempt to create f the Sacramento Children’s Fund, an on-going source of revenue dedicated to youth programming in the City of Sacramento. The goal of the fund is to increase the chances that city’s children and youth succeed in school, get careers, and prosper in life.
“This measure seems really important and I know will be good in the long run, I’m hoping I can persuade my friends to also volunteers their time to spreading the word of the measure, and getting this thing passed” said by Nick Samos, an attendee of the youth meeting.
The main reason of creating a separate fund is because only 4% of the city’s general welfare is used for youth programming. This amount comes out to a low number of $17,181,734 for use of the whole youth of the city of Sacramento. In this spending most of the money is used to help children in the age range of 6-12. However, statistics still show that the youth is not getting the help they need. Nationally, the poverty rate for children is 29% and Sacramento stands at 24%. Sacramento’s poverty rate is also double of both San Francisco’s and Oakland’s rate. In the 2013-2014 school year, 37% of SCUSD students were reported as being truant at least one time during the academic year. The statistics are high and not in any good way at all.
Measure Y stands on adding two new things to the Sacramento city code. The first is to first establish a children’s fund to provide needed services and programming to youth ages 0-24. The children’s fund will not replace the money already being given from the general fund, but will be there to maintain and support the money in the children’s fund. The second states that money for the children’s fund will be received by taxation of marijuana cultivation. In this sense, every person engaged in legal marijuana cultivation business or manufacturing business in the county of Sacramento shall pay an annual business operation tax. This tax will be 5% of each dollar of gross receipts for any reported period, with all revenue being deposited into the children’s fund. The use of the fund revenue will be used for up to 10% for administration, 5% for evaluation, and 85% for direct services to the youth. If passed in the June election the new chapter and sections of the city charter will be active as of January 1, 2017.
The supporters of Measure Y are reaching out to the youth of Sacramento to spread the word of the new measure to communities all over the city. They know that since the fund is for the youth that they should be the main group of individuals to present the measure to people of Sacramento. In November 2014, only 8.1% of eligible voters ages 18-24 in the Sacramento County actually voted. In saying this, the supporters know that at the polls the youth will not be of a great factor in passing the measure. They hope to target voters of the older category for a bigger push in the June election.
The meeting presented three ways for the youth to spread the word- phone calls, door-to-door, and social media. The Sacramento Youth City Council, supporters of the measure, are going to be supplying materials needed for the youth who want to be involved in spreading the word. After training the involved youth, they will set up phone banking times during weekdays and weekends along with door-to-door groups that will carpool to certain communities until of June.
The youth council is hoping for more youth supporters and volunteers to help spread the word in the short time period before June.