Mar 18, 2016
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The groups behind an effort to mandate that a certain percentage of Richmond’s general fund be dedicated to youth services are planning to gather signatures for a November ballot measure on Saturday.

The coalition, which calls itself the Richmond Fund for Children and Youth, will hold a campaign and signature launch drive at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts (EBCPA), 339 11th St., from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

The proposed ballot initiative — supported by a coalition that includes Youth Enrichment Strategies, Pogo Park, Healthy Richmond, RYSE Center, EBCPA and Building Blocks for Kids — would amend the city charter to set the minimum amount of city funding dedicated to youth services to 1-percent of the general fund budget this year, 2-percent in 2017, and then 3-percent every year after until at least 2025. Such a mandate would “help the city utilize its general budget with greater foresight,” and place success of the community’s youth among the city’s top priorities, according to a statement by the coalition.

The ballot initiative is being introduced at the same time as the city is grappling with a $22.7 million deficit by 2021, with targeted savings of $8 million this year. An independent audit said the city must reduce expenses and increase revenues.

The photo above was originally posted on the Richmond Kids First Facebook page and depicts youth receiving signature gathering training last week.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.