Frequently Asked Questions

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Everything You Want to Know About Measure DD!

Over the past year, our grassroots volunteers have talked to THOUSANDS of South City voters about Preschool for All. 

People are excited to provide high-quality preschool to every kid in the community, yet they want to be absolutely sure that Measure DD is a fair and long-term solution to SSF’s preschool waitlist and the affordable child care shortage. (Yes, it is!)

Here are the answers to South City’s most common questions about Measure DD!

Simple: we’ll ask South City’s biggest commercial property owners to pay their fair share.

Preschool for All can be entirely funded through a modest parcel tax ($2.50/square foot) on the largest commercial parcels in town (25,000+ square feet), the majority of which are big biotech companies.

Measure DD will raise tens of millions of dollars in new revenue that will go to a dedicated Early Care and Education for All Fund. This fund will be used only for the universal preschool program, which will be directly administered by the City with civilian oversight and full public transparency.

The City of South San Francisco’s tax expert says that, once commercial office buildings in the pipeline are completed, Measure DD will raise $68 million dollars annually, with a projected surplus. And if there’s ever a shortage of funds, families who are low-income will be be first in line.

No. Small business owners and homeowners won’t pay a cent for Preschool for All.

Measure DD is a modest tax affecting only large commercial office parcels over 25,000 square feet. Non-office commercial sites like grocery stores, warehouses, and restaurants will not be affected by Measure DD. And if an unintended parcel (such as a mixed-use parcel) would be affected, the city manager always has discretion to set the appropriate tax rate, or to exempt the parcel entirely.

The parcel tax rate of $2.50 per square foot is modeled on East Palo Alto’s Measure HH, which passed in 2018 with nearly 80% in favor—and hasn’t slowed down commercial office developments at all. In fact, a study commissioned by the City of South San Francisco determined that Measure DD will incentivize redevelopment in South City, especially of low-density parcels.

Importantly, the guarantee of universal preschool in South City will help our small businesses attract and retain employees. That goes double for South City’s 50+ struggling preschools and child care providers, who will receive funding to pay their skilled workers 230% of the local minimum wage.

Yes, Preschool for All is safe for young children! All Measure DD–funded preschools, child care centers, and family child care providers will be registered with the State of California, and must adhere to California’s strict Health and Safety Code.

Measure DD will fully fund and expand the already-existing early care and education programs that South City families have loved and trusted for years. The civilian Oversight Committee—which must include a parent and child care provider—will hold regular public hearings on the Preschool for All program and conduct regular independent and public evaluations of the program. And of course the City of South San Francisco always has the power to enact and enforce new standards above and beyond those required by the State of California.

The opposition to Measure DD is misleading voters about what “license-exempt care” means. It does NOT mean “unlicensed”!

South San Francisco already uses what’s known as a “mixed delivery system” for providing preschool and child care, including both “licensed” and “license-exempt” care. This is not new! Mixed delivery means that licensed child care centers and license-exempt family child care providers (who may care for only one or two kids!) are eligible to participate. Continuing to include license-exempt care in Preschool for All means even the smallest independent child care providers in South City can keep operating and stay competitive!

But don’t just take our word for it: the San Mateo County Child Care Partnership Council (CCPC) says in their strategic plan, “We believe that high quality early care and education can occur in a wide range of settings, including family child care, center-based care, and legally license-exempt settings. These settings each have unique features that support the needs of individual children and families.

You can also rest assured knowing the 4Cs (Child Care Coordinating Council) of San Mateo County—which has 50 years’ experience referring families to affordable, quality child care—endorses Measure DD as a great solution for all South San Francisco.

After Measure DD passes in November 2022, the Preschool for All program will begin by July 1, 2024.

Before the program launches, the City will perform a comprehensive needs assessment—with extensive public input—and review applications from all centers and providers who wish to participate. The City will have total discretion to monitor and set its own standards, even above and beyond the standards set by the State of California. The City also has the power to conduct trainings and make visitations to ensure consistent quality across the program.

Parents and guardians are free to choose the participating centers or providers that work best for their children.

In order to give working families as many choices as possible, Measure DD funds a “mixed delivery system”—meaning the Preschool for All program includes public and non-profit providers, both small and large. All current centers and providers—such as Parks & Recreation (Siebecker and Westborough), parent co-ops, and family day cares—are encouraged but not obligated to participate. 

South San Francisco will take the time to do Preschool for All the right way, so no child will be left out or left behind.

Investing in South City’s youngest residents provides huge benefits to the whole community.

SSF’s Child Care Master Plan determined that every dollar spent on early care and education (ECE) returns more than eight dollars in societal benefit. And decades of research show that providing high-quality ECE to low-income families is the best way to raise high school graduation rates, lower incarceration rates, and reduce unemployment.

Best of all, these huge benefits for South City will be funded by taxing the largest corporate office buildings on town, NOT regular taxpayers. Homeowners and small businesses won’t pay one cent for Preschool for All. And because Measure DD raises NEW revenue specifically for preschool, it won’t use or divert funds from other worthy projects in the city.

Vote Yes on Measure DD: Universal preschool not only gives our kids an equitable education now, but also improves everyone’s quality of life for decades to come.

Measure DD is a grassroots campaign led and funded by local parents, educators, child care providers, community organizations, and activists.

In 2021, our coalition of preschool teachers, public and private care providers, parents, union reps, and other experts and stakeholders in San Mateo County worked to draft a measure that would secure the funds needed to realize South San Francisco’s first-class Child Care Master Plan.

Our team of committed volunteers spent the first half of 2022 knocking every door in South City to gather the thousands of voter signatures required to qualify our citizens’ initiative for the ballot.

From the beginning, our campaign has been supported by the people of South San Francisco and greater San Mateo County. Unlike the opposition, we accept no corporate donations. 

The Yes on DD! campaign will continue to canvass South City through Election Day on November 8, 2022. Come volunteer with us!

Measure DD is endorsed by unions, elected officials, community organizations, and trusted community leaders.

We’re proud to have the full support of 4Cs (Child Care Coordinating Council) of San Mateo, as well as AFSCME Local 829 and UDW Child Care Providers United, the two unions who collectively represent all the preschool teachers and child care providers in South City.

Measure DD is also endorsed by SSF City Councilmembers James Coleman and Eddie Flores, CA State Senator Josh Becker, the San Mateo County Democratic Party, Peninsula Young Democrats, the SMC Latinx Democratic Club, Faith in Action Bay Area, and United Way Bay Area.

Measure DD is also endorsed by a majority of the San Mateo Board of Education, including Chelsea Bonini, Hector Camacho, Jim Cannon, and Ted Lempert; and SSF Unified School District School Board President John Baker and Vice President Mina Richardson.

Plus, nearly 6,000 South San Francisco residents signed the measure to be placed on the ballot this November.

More folks are joining us every day—so please consider endorsing us or volunteering with the Preschool for All SSF campaign!

-> Check our complete list of endorsers to see everyone who supports voting Yes on Measure DD!

Big Biotech. Only six corporations (with endless money to spend) are the “opposition” to Measure DD.

These billion-dollar corporations have spent $200,000 so far on an astroturfed campaign to oppose our grassroots citizens’ initiative. They want to block Preschool for All so they can dodge a small tax on their massive office buildings.

Get the real story behind their corporate lies here: Who’s Opposing Measure DD?

Good question! It is strange that these three politicians—the ONLY public officials opposing Measure DD—don’t support funding the Child Care Master Plan that the SSF City Council adopted on June 8, 2022.

As it turns out, Buenaflor Nicolas and Mark Addiego have deep financial ties to the same biotech corporations funding the opposition to Measure DD.

The real question is: Why don’t Nicolas and Addiego disclose these SEVERE financial conflicts of interest to the public?

As for Mark Nagales, unfortunately, it appears that he prioritizes unlimited corporate biotech development (and corporate profits) over the needs of the regular people who live here. High-quality preschool for all South City families and a living wage for preschool teachers should be a slam dunk, the sort of policy that would make his legacy—but he’s either unwilling or unable to go up against big corporate interests to make it happen.

We still hope Mayor Nagales will do the right thing and join the 30+ public officials who have endorsed Measure DD, including City Councilmember James Coleman, SSF USD School Board President John Baker, and SSFUSD School Board Vice President Mina Richardson. 

Check out our Title & Summary and the full text of our initiative filing, which explains exactly how Measure DD will fund high-quality preschool for every child (aged 2.5-5 years old) whose family lives or works in South San Francisco.

Our grassroots campaign worked for nearly a year with local stakeholders—parents, child care providers, preschool teachers, union reps, and city officials—to craft an equitable, sustainable city-run Preschool for All program that is flexible enough to adapt to our community’s changing needs.

We will win Preschool for All when a simple majority of South City voters vote YES on Measure DD on November 8, 2022. 

So let’s spread the word! Help reach voters by volunteering with Yes on DD campaign. We always need door-to-door canvassers, text bankers, and phone bankers, especially as we get closer to Election Day.

And of course, please DONATE to our grassroots campaign so we can cover big expenses like full-color, multilingual educational mailers to voters.

Our corporate opponents may be well funded, but we have the people on our side, because the whole community stands to win!

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