“When we invest in the education of our youth, we invest in the future of Los Angeles and the leaders and changemakers of tomorrow.”
—Shane Murphy Goldsmith, President/CEO, Liberty Hill Foundation
Although California is the fifth-largest economy in the world, our state ranks a whopping 44th in the United States in per-pupil funding for education. We can do better—for our kids and our communities. At Liberty Hill, we are committed to funding a future where all children in Los Angeles have access to an education that prepares them for success, no matter their zip code.
For over 40 years, we have fueled campaigns for educational equity in everything from school funding and college preparatory course availability, to banning unnecessary suspensions—ensuring students in L.A.’s most underserved communities have the resources and support they need to succeed. Liberty Hill’s new Agenda for a Just Future includes an initiative to end youth incarceration as we know it and create a youth development system focused on prevention, not punishment.
Now, Liberty Hill is proud to support The Los Angeles Unified School District Parcel Tax, Ballot Measure EE, which will go before voters in the upcoming special election on June 4, 2019. The measure—which requires 2/3 of the vote to pass—would levy a $0.16 per square foot tax on all properties—residential and commercial—within LAUSD boundaries for 12 years. If approved by voters, Measure EE will generate approximately $500 million annually for L.A. Unified schools.
Measure EE is a key part of the solution to the public education funding crisis. Teachers and school district leaders agree that Measure EE will lower class sizes and provide much-needed resources to help local schools retain and attract quality teachers, counselors, librarians, support staff and principals.
Ballot initiatives like Measure EE represent a critical turning point in the growth of progressive power in Los Angeles. After years of organizing and building power, grassroots organizations headed by leaders in communities of color are driving change at the ballot box. That’s why we are proud to support the Million Voters Project Action Fund with a contribution of $300,000 for their efforts to lead the field campaign for Measure EE, as well as their leadership to pass the School and Communities First Act, which will be on the statewide ballot in November 2020. Schools and Communities First will reclaim more than $11 billion a year in revenue for our schools and local communities by assessing commercial and industrial property at fair market value.
The overall goal of the Million Voters Project is to transform the California electorate by mobilizing one million new and infrequent voters to the polls around an agenda of equity and inclusion. Many of Liberty Hill’s long-standing grantees and community partners are part of Million Voters Project and/or are engaged in voter outreach to help pass Measure EE, including: Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), California Calls, the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of California (CHIRLA), Community Coalition, InnerCity Struggle, Korean Resource Center, LA Voice, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE), and Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE).
Measure EE has also been endorsed by many prominent elected officials, including Mayor Eric Garcetti, Supervisor Shelia Kuehl, Congresswoman Karen Bass, Senator Holly Mitchell, and Councilman Mike Bonin. Other prominent endorsers include: the L.A. County Federation of Labor, the California Community Foundation, First 5 LA, and the Los Angeles County Democratic Party.