Press Release 18 Mar 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

RICHMOND FUND FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH FINALLY PUTS KIDS FIRST 

BALLOT MEASURE CAMPAIGN AND SIGNATURE DRIVE TO LAUNCH SATURDAY MARCH 19 AT EAST BAY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS – 2PM – 4PM

2016 03 02 Richmond Families ColorWithout creating new taxes, the Richmond Fund for Children and Youth will help the city utilize its general budget with greater foresight.

Supported by local and national data that similar funds demonstrate improvements in public safety and result in improved coordination of city services, better planning, and the leveraging of significant additional resources, the Richmond Fund for Children and Youth will help the City prioritize and invest in the healthy development of Richmond’s youngest residents.

“Voting yes for this will save a life,” says local parent, Tana Monteiro, “Our youth and families deserve high quality, intentional and engaging programs, and the ones we do have need more funding so that they can provide more services to more people.”

As articulated in its official ballot title and summary, the initiative will assist existing non-profits, city programs, and potential new programs to provide supportive and developmental services focused on issues including but not limited to youth well-being, violence prevention and response, support for parents and guardians, and career-development. Supporters point out that establishing the fund will also heighten budget accountability to ensure that a fair amount of the city budget will be certain to reach young people and provide high-need family support.

According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, prevention and early intervention programs for youth are consistently found to have the greatest long-term economic impact through increased earnings and decreased involvement in the criminal-legal system. 15 year-old Jakia Kiel of El Cerrito High School believes the initiative will not only help get youth off the streets but will encourage them to “help the community while also helping themselves toward a better future.”

This Saturday, March 19, the campaign to place the Fund on the city’s November ballot celebrates its launch. Hosted at the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts from 2:00 to 4pm, this family and youth-friendly event is free and marks the initiative’s grand push to secure a better, safer, and wiser Richmond.

“The Richmond Kids First campaign will help youth have hope and faith for change,” says 18-year-old Contra Costa College student Anure McGee, “We will have more options and opportunity and it will show that the city actually cares about the future of our youth.”

The Kids First Campaign sponsors include: RYSE Center, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Youth Enrichment Strategies (YES), The Ed Fund, Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN), Pogo Park, Healthy Richmond, Education Matters, Building Block for Kids, Community Health for Asian Americans, Urban Tilth and Funding the Next Generation. The campaign plans to collect signatures of voters in order to place the Kids First measure on the ballot.

LOCATION FOR LAUNCH: East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, 339 11th St., Richmond

CONTACT:            

  • Sandy Saeteurn:  Sandy@apen4ej.org | 510-439-8512
  • Blanca Hernández: Blanca@yesfamilies.org | 510-541-8737

Press Release Issued: March 18, 2016