Margaret Brodkin - United States
So basically what I did is write a charter amendment that said every year, the city has to put aside a certain pot of money that is just for children’s services, and it would be 2 ½ % of the property tax, now it’s 3% of the property tax, and in addition to that, we have to calculate how much money we’re spending on kids every year, and we can’t go below that amount. We call it the children’s baseline budget. So one was the Children’s Fund and one was the children’s baseline budget. And we had to stand on street corners to collect signatures to put this on the ballot... You need a lot of signatures to put something on the ballot. And in this case, you know, I had to rally the whole city to get signatures. We got 63,000 signatures. Maybe it was 66,000, now, I can’t believe I can’t remember, signatures, to put this on the ballot. And so the day the signatures were due, we took a whole bunch of kids to city hall, and we put all these signatures in little red wagons. It’s a lot of signatures if you have 66,000 signatures. It was 66. It fills a lot of red wagons. So we had all these red wagons. The kids were pulling the red wagons. We took them into the registered voters’ office with this charter amendment that we were getting put on the ballot, and I don’t know if you’ve ever been to city hall, but if you do something in the rotunda of city hall, people on the second floor come out and see what you’re doing, so people came out and looked and said what are they doing down there and all of a sudden everybody who was on the board of supervisors, and people on the mayor’s office, are looking down and saying what’s going on here and the press was there and we got, you know we submitted all these signatures and people were stunned. Nobody expected 66,000 people to sign signatures for this, everybody had been against it, and all of a sudden, everybody was for it.