Letter to Editor: Vote Yes On Measure DD In SSF

South San Francisco, CA  October 20, 2022 by Margaret Brodkin, Founder/Director Funding the Next Generation

AN OPPORTUNITY TO SUPPORT CHILDREN, PARENTS, WORKERS, AND THE ECONOMY

 

This November, South San Francisco voters have an unprecedented opportunity to make four transformative changes in their city by passing one groundbreaking measure.

 

  1. Measure DD provides year-round, full-time early care and education (ECE) to all 5 to 5 year-olds whose parents live or work in South City. Research shows that high-quality ECE is associated with better health, success in school, higher earnings in adulthood, and lower rates of public assistance and crime.
  2. Measure DD allows more parents to enter the workforce, increasing family incomes and bringing tax benefits to South The high cost of ECE (median $16,000 per year) can instead go toward housing and other essentials.
  3. Measure DD provides a living wage for in-demand ECE workers, who are leaving the field due to low pay. Instead of supplementing their minimum wage with SNAP benefits, South City ECE workers will earn $36 per hour to start. And good wages will retain and attract experienced teachers, the cornerstone of quality ECE.
  4. Measure DD rescues 53 small businesses—primarily minority- and women-owned home-based childcare providers—who have struggled to stay open because parents can’t afford the true cost of their programs.

 

Childcare is in crisis, creating a disaster for families and the economy. It just costs too much— one year of care exceeds the tuition of many four-year colleges—and there isn’t space to serve every child. (SSF’s own city-run childcare program has 700+ children on a four-year waitlist.) The pandemic intensified the childcare shortage, and the federal funds that rescued some providers are about to run out. The growing crisis, as recently reported in the Washington Post, threatens the rest of the economy.

 

However, some flat-out refuse to address the issue. The corporate-funded opposition to Measure DD is flooding South City with ads filled with egregious lies—all to scare voters into believing that the childcare provided by the measure would somehow be risky and unsafe. This

 

dishonest campaign to attack a grassroots citizens’ initiative benefiting working families is disgraceful. The three elected officials abetting these smear tactics should be ashamed of scaring parents instead of admitting to their real reason for opposing Measure DD: obeisance to extremely wealthy biotech corporations.

 

For the past 40 years, I’ve worked on every childcare ballot measure in California. Measure DD enacts the same (and sometimes more) protections and accountability as every other successful childcare measure, ensuring a high-quality program for all. South City voters should know that California has extensive childcare safety requirements, and that San Mateo County has added additional quality enhancements. Measure DD also puts in place:

 

  • an 18-month planning process to create Preschool for All, including a needs assessment, public input, and final approval by City Council;
  • an oversight body of parents and childcare professionals who receive regular reports on all aspects of the program;
  • an experienced City Council–appointed childcare administrator to manage and disseminate Measure DD funds;
  • regular independent evaluations of safety, quality, affordability, and accessibility;
  • semi-annual public reporting on expenditures and quality to ensure transparency; and
  • a vetted application process to guarantee care providers meet the highest

 

 

Measure DD is funded by a parcel tax on commercial office properties over 25,000 square feet. Not one dime is paid by homeowners or small businesses. (Note: $2.50 per square foot is the same amount as East Palo Alto’s 2018 Measure HH, which passed with 80 percent approval and hasn’t slowed business development.) Genentech, the opposition’s largest donor, had $26 billion in revenue last year and can easily pay this modest tax, yet it would rather block universal preschool and a living wage for childcare workers.

 

The City of South San Francisco’s own reports strongly support Measure DD:

 

  • SSF’s Child Care Master Plan (approved June 2022): “A vision for success: a mixed delivery system that is consisting of childcare centers, family childcare providers and license-exempt caregivers.”
  • SSF’s tax expert: Parcel tax costs will have a “relatively minor effect” on slowing development and will “encourage the redevelopment of older, less intensely developed ”
  • SSF’s childcare expert: When fully operational, Measure DD will have a “surplus of

$340,677” to fund high-quality preschool for South City children.

 

 

Research proves that when it comes to government funds, there is no bigger bang for our buck than high-quality early care and education. When voters pass Measure DD, they will be proud to know South San Francisco leads the nation in solving the childcare crisis for good.

 

Never before have South San Franciscans had the opportunity to accomplish so much with one vote! YES ON DD.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

11 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ben
Ben
1 month ago

Hi Margaret,

what about small businesses that rent a unit which is part of a larger complex that exceeds the 25k sq ft? Would those small business by taxed?

thanks
Ben

CYNTHIA MARCOPULOS
CYNTHIA MARCOPULOS
1 month ago

I’m voting yes on DD. But, this is most interesting:

Councilwoman Nicholas in a recent Daily Journal article on Measure DD (free childcare) expressed her opposition to this voter-initiated ballot measure because “she doesn’t want to be the guinea pig or the first to fail at universal city wide child care.”

But, Ms. Nicholas has no qualms having the residents of our City fund the Measure AA, the city-owned housing measure, that by our city’s own independent study showed we would be in a deficit yearly for 150 units only at $47,000,000 to $85,000,000 shortfall if this passes.

Our city aspires to build 250 units a year and 2,000 within the next 8 years. That is between $80,000,000 and $127,000,000 in unfunded obligations for that one year for 250 units, and $640,000,000 to over a $1,000,000,000 for 2,000 units in eight years.

The cities in the State of California are watching South City on this initiative so they, too, won’t fail or become the guinea pigs. Why should our small city be the test case?

Vote NO on Measure AA — please share this.

Avalon Park Homeowner - 45 years
Avalon Park Homeowner - 45 years
1 month ago

Another interesting bit of information is Councilwoman Nicolas is a biotech corporation executive with over a million dollars invested in biotech stock. For DD, she has served as the mouthpiece of the biotech industry, just as she has on the council allowing for unlimited biotech development at the expense of our residents.

factchecker
factchecker
1 month ago

Why are you promoting outside companies that want to tax businesses in SSF? Just a week ago you people posted that there was a lot of outside money and interest trying to sway our city elections, so why are you doing there work for them that does not make sense.
Business will always pass costs to consumers and this will not cover what they want to accomplish in this measure.
This is outside companies against ssf companies when it should be about voters.
Keep outside money out of local politics!.

Juan Bustos
Juan Bustos
1 month ago

While I love our children and pray for a bright future, I cannot afford any more taxes on my property. Yes, it said that big business would bear the brunt of the burden, I believe it only starts there and ends up here in my pocketbook. Sorry but I am not against our little ones, but I am against any new taxes, I will vote NO

Avalon Park Homeowner
Avalon Park Homeowner
1 month ago
Reply to  Juan Bustos

It is illegal for the tax to apply to your property if it not “commercial office” over 25,000 square feet. It would have to go to the ballot again for that to happen.

Stu
Stu
1 month ago

Perhaps in theory, as is often the case with any tax related initiative being promoted to voters, but then there’s that pesky slippery slope. Additionally, local business owners have their budgets and expenses too, ie; taxes, wages, insurances, employee benefits, mortgages, maintenance, and the costs for the products they need to purchase as well. It’s not fair to always target the business owner for new taxes. This is how you lose businesses as owners find that it just isn’t worth it anymore.

Last edited 1 month ago by Stu
CYNTHIA MARCOPULOS
CYNTHIA MARCOPULOS
1 month ago
Reply to  Juan Bustos

If you can’t afford more taxes, Mr. Bustos, please vote No on Measure AA —

Our city aspires to build 250 units a year and 2,000 within the next 8 years. That is between $80,000,000 and $127,000,000 in unfunded obligations for that one year for 250 units, and $640,000,000 to over a $1,000,000,000 for 2,000 units in eight years.

The cities in the State of California are watching South City on this initiative so they, too, won’t fail or become the guinea pigs. Why should our small city be the test case?

This will fall on the residents to pick up the deficit.

Vote NO on Measure AA — please share this.

Dolores Piper
Dolores Piper
1 month ago

We definitely need to invest in our children’s futures and the well being of our families. Early childhood education is an awesome way to do both. Yes on DD

Norma Flagg
Norma Flagg
1 month ago
Reply to  Dolores Piper

Dolores will you be voting for the astronomical bond too?

Stu
Stu
1 month ago
Reply to  Dolores Piper

Easy to say when you’re having other people/businesses pay for it. One needs to invest in his/her own childrens’ futures; not everyone else’s.