“This is us trying to get your attention, trying to get a voice for ourselves…We’ve spent so much time and effort every single day going out canvassing… just to be able to get a chance for the community in Richmond to be able to vote on this”
~Diana Ramirez, a RKF youth member, July 26 Richmond City Council meeting.
Richmond City Council has delayed democracy
but they can’t stop it.
With the exception of the support RKF received from Councilmember Jael Myrick, City Council confirmed its disregard for the democratic process and failed to hold a regularly scheduled City Council meeting on August 2 in order to pass a resolution to include Richmond Kids First on the November ballot.
Thank you for your calls, emails, postings and support for Richmond Kids First.
Despite your efforts, despite 6, 476 signatures, despite four months of tireless outreach by dozens of Richmond’s young people, despite legal notice that its actions are questionable if not in violation of voting laws and precedence, Richmond City Council disregarded the will of its voters and Richmond’s young people.
Mayor Butt and City Council keep framing their refusal to uphold democracy as a result of Richmond Kids First missing a deadline. This is inaccurate. The signatures were collected and turned in in time for the County to validate each signature and send a report over to City Council on Monday morning, July 25. The only thing that prevented the measure from being on the November 2016 ballot was disapproval of the measure by Mayor Butt and City Council. With polls showing 84% support from Richmond residents, the Mayor and City Council know that if the measure is placed on the ballot, it will pass.
After refusing to just keep Richmond Kids First on the agenda at the Tuesday, July 26 meeting. Richmond City Council then refused another opportunity to uphold democracy. They failed to conduct a regularly scheduled City Council meeting on Tuesday, August 2 – the last opportunity to pass a resolution to place the measure on the November 2016 ballot. Therefore, the City Council effectively prevented voters from the Richmond Kids First this Fall.
Though they have delayed democracy, they CANNOT stop it. With 6,476 signatures from Richmond voters, Richmond Kids First will be on the ballot for the June 2018 election.
Lookout for an upcoming town hall about Richmond Kids First’s plans and developing a citywide plan to support for our young people.
Statement of Facts on Richmond Kids First: Detailed information on the process of developing the Richmond Kids First measure, the grassroots canvassing effort, the signature validation process and the actions of City Council and Mayor Butt in undermining the initiative.
Press Release: Richmond City Council Fails to Uphold Democratic Process
- Radio Free Richmond: “Kids First Initiative Put on Hold”
- East Bay Times: “Richmond: Kids’ fund ballot initiative fails to get City Council OK, angering supporters”
Communication between our legal counsel and the City of Richmond:
- July 26th: Considering the “Richmond Kids First Initiative” at the July 26, 2016 City Council
- July 29th: Considering the “Richmond Kids First Initiative ” at an August 2, 2016 City Council Meeting
- August 1: The City Attorney defends City Council’s refusal to uphold democratic process.
- August 3: RKF Legal Teams responds and shares concerns about violations of electoral regulations and democratic process.
THANK YOU for your continued commitment to young people and this initiative!!
Partners: RYSE Center, Community Health for Asian Americans, The Ed Fund, East Bay Center for the Performing Arts, Healthy Richmond, YES Nature to Neighborhoods, Funding the Next Generation, Pogo Park, Building Blocks for Kids.
Additional Endorsers: Supervisor John Gioia, Urban Tilth, California School-Based Health Alliance, Students for Education Reform, Shields-Reid Residents Neighborhood Council, Teachers 4 Social Justice, CBE Action, Mindful Life Project.
To learn more about the Richmond Kids First Initiative email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website: https://richmondkidsfirst.org/