Coleman Advocates: San Franciscans for Children & Youth
459 Vienna Street, San Francisco, CA 94112
Tel: (415) 239-0161 Fax: (415) 239-0584
04/11/06 www.colemanadvocates.org email: firstname.lastname@example.org
SPEAK UP FOR FAMILIES DAY SPECIAL REPORT:
OVER 800 RALLIED FOR $10M BUDGET PLAN TO HELP FAMILIES STAY IN SF
-Mayor Newsom Does Not Attend or Sign the $10M Check for SF Families
-Supervisors Tom Ammiano & Chris Daly Sign the Check to cheering crowd
After weeks of nonstop rain, the clouds cleared and the sun beamed on the Speak Up for Families Rally at Civic Center on
Saturday! With such perfect weather, the crowds grew throughout the morning, eating 400 subway sandwiches, 400 PBJ
sandwiches, 800 pieces of fruit, 800 pieces of chocolate & 500 bags of popcorn!
At least 800 families gathered (700 signed in!) from all over the city to show their support for this movement of SF Families
determined to stand our ground, raise our children in San Francisco, and make this a city of hope and opportunity for all children & families.
The event opened with Chinese-American parent organizer Sandra Fewer saying “I am the fourth generation raised here in San Francisco and
I want my children to be the fifth!” There were even families from the East Bay who used to live in San Francisco who came to lend their
voices. While speakers on stage talked about the priority needs of SF families — housing, childcare, jobs and community safety — hundreds of
kids ran around with balloons and enjoyed the kids activity tents run by local child care centers and Coleman volunteers. Outstanding
performances by the Lion Dancers, Pacific Islander Youth Alliance, SupaSickWidIt and Loco Bloco lifted many a weary spirit and demonstrated
the diversity, energy, creativity and power of San Francisco youth!
Many remarked on the remarkable racial diversity of families gathered to raise their voices for a common cause. Chinese, Latino,
Filipino, African American, Samoan and white families from Chinatown, Bayview Hunters Point, Excelsior, VisValley, the Mission and
the Richmond were well represented. “A lot of times its just activists who come to these rallies at city hall,” said a teacher from
Thurgood Marshall High school, “but I’m amazed that this is really community folks, families, from all the neighborhoods affected by
The only dark cloud on this powerful and festive day was the absence of support from Mayor Newsom. Despite hours of
conversations with the Mayor’s Office, the Mayor was unable to come or send a representative who could announce his support for our full
$10 Million budget agenda, including its 11 budget proposals for rental assistance, affordable childcare, job training and violence prevention
services that will help low to moderate income families stay in San Francisco. We told the Mayor’s Office in clear terms that vague promises –
even for more than $10 million — were not acceptable. In the last six months, 2000 parents, youth and service providers prioritized those
policy areas, and at least 150 people participated in Budget 4 Families Coalition meetings over the last six months to discuss and vote on the full
Budget Platform. We met with Department heads and local experts, and did our homework. Given the enormity of the crisis of affordability
facing San Francisco families, and given the Mayor’s stated commitment to address the crisis, we invited the Mayor to sign our $10 Million
check and expected that he would do so. Disappointed, hundreds of people signed postcards to the Mayor on Saturday, which we will deliver
in person, and pledged to meet with the Mayor and his staff however many times it takes to win his full support.
To the delight of the crowds, Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Chris Daly (Chair of the Budget Committee) signed the
check, and promised to do all they can to support families struggling to stay in the city. Supervisor Sophie Maxwell attended
but due to a staff miscommunication, was not briefed on our Budget platform and was unable to sign. We pledged to follow up
with her and are hopeful, given her past support of children & families, that she will sign as well. Finally, Supervisor Ross
Mirkarimi, who had confirmed his attendance, was unable to come at the last minute but called to say that he fully intended to
sign the check, and support our budget plan as a member of the Budget Committee this year. Thank you! To the Supervisors
who did not attend or send representatives (Peskin, Dufty, Elsbernd, Alioto-Pier, Sandoval, McGoldrick, Ma) we know
that the budget is currently in the Mayor’s hands, not yours – until June 1. Look forward to meeting with a delegation from our
growing Coalition, and we look forward to your support this budget season!
THANK YOU to volunteer performers Siaira Harris, International Lion Dance Academy, SupaSickWidIt, and Pacific Islander Youth Alliance, to the
crew of more than 30 volunteers, including folks who staffed the kids activity tables from Florence Crittendon, SOMA Childcare, Wu Yee
Children’s Services, Friends of St Francis Childcare and Children’s Village childcare. Thank you to all the community-based agencies who played a
big role in supporting the event, including (just to name a few): Inner City Youth, the CLAER project, Wu Yee, Asian Perinatal Advocates,
CHALK, Richmond Village Beacon, Young Community Developers, JVS, Adolescent Health Working Group, Parent Voices, SOMA Childcare, the
Family Child Care Association, SF Childcare Providers Association, CPAC and Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.
GET INVOLVED -The next mtg of the Budget 4 Families Coalition is May 11, 6-8pm, at Coleman.
Between now and then, we will be setting up Coalition meetings with Supervisors and the Mayor's Office.
Call NTanya or Tom to get involved, at 239-0161.
TO GET ON THE LIST TO RECEIVE OUR ADVOCATE ALERT CALL 239-0161x10 OR SIGN UP ONLINE AT www.colemanadvocates.org