Impact on Child and Youth Services of the Tax Cuts Proposed by the Cannabis Industry
February 14th, 2022
Youth Forward is currently coordinating a statewide campaign to raise awareness of the impact on child and youth services of the tax cuts proposed by the cannabis industry. If the industry persuades the Governor and Legislature to make these cuts, we will see significant cuts to child care and youth prevention services that serve children living in poverty and communities of color. We have sent a letter to the Governor, pro Tem, and Speaker with 152 organizations signed on in support, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Alliance for Boys and Men of Color, First 5 California and numerous local youth-serving organizations across the state. On Wednesday, February 16th, we will hold a virtual press conference to share our analysis of the impact on the proposed tax cuts on child care and youth services.
New Report on the Prop 64 Public Health and Safety Grant Program
December 6th, 2021
Prop 64 allocated a portion of state cannabis tax revenues to the Board of State and Community Corrections (BSCC) to administer a grant program designed to mitigate the impacts of cannabis legalization on local communities. Since 2019, BSCC has awarded over $31 million to local governments through the Prop 64 Public Health and Safety Grant Program. Local governments have received funds to support youth development, public health and law enforcement. In many cases, local governments have contracted with community-based organizations to deliver services and education in youth prevention. In 2022, BSCC has $120 million for grants to local governments. To learn more about how this program works, and which local governments have received funds and for what activities, please review our new report. In the report, we offer recommendations on how BSCC can shape this program going forward to have a greater impact.
Cannabis Advertising Targeted at Kids
In September of this year (2021), Youth Forward and the Getting It Right from the Start Project at the Public Health Institute led a campaign to persuade Governor Newsom to veto a bill (AB 1302) that would have allowed cannabis billboards on interstate highways. We took this on out of concern for how the cannabis industry is using billboards and other advertising platforms to market cannabis to kids and young people, much like the tobacco industry did in the past. As part of our effort, we provided the Governor with a review of cannabis billboards in his hometown (Sacramento) with a description of how the billboard targets kids. For example, one prominent billboard on a main thoroughfare uses sour gummy worms to spell out the name of the cannabis delivery service. We also sent the Governor a letter signed by 230 public health and child advocates urging the veto. We were thrilled when, on October 8th, the Governor vetoed this legislation.
Research on Youth Development Amidst COVID-19
March 21, 2021
Last week, Youth Forward released a report on how the youth development has been adapting its policies and practices in response the COVID-19 pandemic. The report is based on surveys and interviews with youth-serving organizations that are part of the Prop 64 grant programs managed by the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development and the Department of Health Care Services. The report reveals that youth development organizations will likely continue some of the new practices of virtual engagement developed during the pandemic. For the full report click here.
Cannabis, Equity, and Racial Justice Virtual Webinars
February 9, 2021
Over the last month, we have hosted eight virtual convenings about Proposition 64 cannabis implementation and the movement to repair the harm caused by the War on Drugs by centering racial justice, equity, and healing. Our partners at Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and California Urban Partnership helped us create this series of webinars to educate the public about initiatives currently in place to address cannabis policy from a lens of racial equality and to support community-based and youth-serving organizations looking to influence the allocation of cannabis tax revenues towards community reinvestment. Topics ranged from how Prop 64 funded youth organizations are responding and innovating given social distancing and the additional stress and pressures on youth created by the pandemic to the approaches needed to close the racial wealth gaps caused by the criminalization of cannabis. We hope these webinars serve to broaden the understanding of cannabis policy and racial justice and they are used by individuals and organizations around the state and the country.
All webinars can be found here.
Recommendations to School Leaders
Sep 30, 2020
In the summer of 2020, Youth Forward staff interviewed 20 local high school students to get their thoughts on how Sacramento County schools should respond to youth needs during the pandemic. Youth expressed numerous concerns and generated ideas on how schools could support youth mental health and overall well-being given school closures and social distancing. We then brought the youth leaders together and developed a series of recommendations for our local school leaders. We are currently meeting with local school administrators and school board members to follow up.
California Cannabis Tax Revenues: A Windfall for Law Enforcement or an Opportunity for Healing Communities?
In this report, Youth Forward and Getting it Right from the Start offer an analysis of what is happening with cannabis tax revenues at the local level in California. The report includes a detailed analysis of which local governments have instituted local cannabis taxes and how those governments are spending the new revenue. The report challenges local policymakers to end the practice of using cannabis revenues to expand law enforcement and to instead invest those revenues in youth and health initiatives in communities of color most impacted by the War on Drugs and mass incarceration. youthforward_cannabistaxreport_rev072020.pdf
A Tale of Two Cities: The Campaign for a Sacramento Children's Fund
In this paper, Jim Keddy analyzes the recent effort by Sac Kids First to create a children's fund in the city budget of Sacramento. On March 3rd, 2020, 54% of Sacramento voters rejected Measure G, a policy which would have created a stable funding source for youth services in the city of Sacramento. A Tale of Two Cities looks at the various dynamics in the vote turnout and in the campaign which reveal a stark contrast in priorities between voters in the more affluent neighborhoods and voters in lower-income, neighborhoods of color.
A Second Chance: Sacramento should use Measure U money to clear criminal records
Sep 19, 2019, By Nia MooreWeathers
During the Measure U campaign to increase the sales tax and in the debates that followed, Mayor Darrell Steinberg and other city leaders promised that they would use the proceeds to support “inclusive economic development.”
California philanthropy and the new reality of legal weed
By Jim Keddy
Marijuana policy has numerous aspects that touch upon racial and health equity. In 2017m Jim Keddy authored a short paper that outlines many of these issues and that provides recommendations to philanthropy on how to approach this complex policy area.
Funding Opportunities for Community-Based Organizations via Prop 64
Check out our new overview of the Prop 64 grant programs!
CalCRG Community Reinvestment Grants Program
DHCS Youth SUD Prevention Program/Elevate Youth California
CNRA Youth Community Access Grant Program