Next week, the Kids First advocates will be coming to the City Council with their petition signatures requesting we place it on the ballot. Legally, we have no choice, and it will be probably June 2018. See:
The Kids First initiative, if it passes, would require the City of Richmond to spend 3 percent of its General Fund on services to children and youth up to 18 years of age and transitional (foster care) youth up to age 24. Based on the FY 2016-17 budget, this would be about $4.2 million today, and when it ramps up in five years, it could be over $5 million. Tis would have to be over and above what Richmond is spending now.
The whole premise of Kids First is that Richmond is not spending enough on kids. What is Richmond spending? We now have an accounting, and it adds up to a whopping total of over $9 million! This does not include money that is spent on programs and events that impact both youth and adult audiences - such as City sponsorship of the July 3 fireworks and various festivals, contractual agreements with youth-serving non-profits (such as the $60,000 allocation to the East Bay Center for the Performing Arts as part of the Library and Cultural Services Department Budget), and similar types of expenditures.
If the City has to spend $5 million more on Kids First, it will likely come out of other programs and could result in fewer cops on the street, closed libraries, unrepaired streets and layoffs of existing employees.
Thought you might want to know.