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Community Foundation Board opposes Ballot Measure that Would Redirect Money from First Five Commissions to State General Fund

Silicon Valley Community Foundation's Board of Directors has voted to oppose Proposition 1D, one of six measures placed before voters in California's May 19 special election to address the state's $42 billion deficit.

Proposition 1D would take $1.6 billion in funds over five years from First 5, which provides educational, health care and other services to young children and their families throughout California. That money would be redirected to the state's general fund. First 5 was created in 1998 after voters approved the California Children and Families Act, which levied an additional tobacco tax to provide revenue for its programs.

The community foundation's board voted to oppose the measure and authorized a $50,000 contribution to the No on Proposition 1D campaign. The decision, made at a special meeting, marks the first time that the board has taken a significant stand in a statewide political campaign.

"We made the decision after a lot of discussion and deliberation," said board chairwoman Nancy H. Handel. "The community foundation has a long history of involvement in early childhood development. While we all understand that the state needs to address a significant budget deficit, our board has decided that this measure is not the best way to do that. The long-term costs are too great."

The community foundation has a number of early learning initiatives focused on children from ages 0-5 that receive support from First 5 San Mateo, such as the School Readiness Initiative and Kickoff to Kindergarten. Those programs have helped more than 8,000 children be better prepared to succeed in kindergarten. First 5 also provides financial support for Raising a Reader, an early literacy program that targets lower income families.


"Research has shown that investing in children early in their lives pays off," said Emmett D. Carson, Ph.D., CEO and president of the community foundation. "A child's brain develops most dramatically in the first five years. What we do then has a significant impact on what happens later and whether that child will need longer-term, more costly services to succeed."

Carson said the board's action sends a signal that the community foundation is willing and able to engage in effective policy advocacy and lobbying on issues that are directly related to its mission and would have a significant effect on the region.

"Now, more than ever, community foundations need to be willing to step up and use all the tools available to them," Carson said. "Lobbying is one of those tools."

For more information about Proposition 1D, see the campaign website at

About Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Silicon Valley Community Foundation® is a catalyst and leader for innovative solutions to our region's most challenging problems. Serving all of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties, the community foundation has $1.5 billion in assets under management and 1,500 philanthropic funds. The community foundation provides grants through donor advised and corporate funds in addition to its own Community Endowment Fund. In addition, the community foundation serves as a regional center for philanthropy, providing donors simple and effective ways to give locally and around the world. Silicon Valley Community Foundation launched in January 2007 following the landmark merger of Community Foundation Silicon Valley and Peninsula Community Foundation and is now one of the largest community foundations in the nation. Find out more at

2440 West El Camino Real, Suite 300 | Mountain View, CA 94040 | tel: 650.450.5400 | fax: 650.450.5401 | privacy policy Copyright 2009 Silicon Valley Community Foundation

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