In Praise of Tom Ammiano

by Randy Shaw on January 28, 2008

When I wrote last week of the impact of state school cuts on San Francisco’s local budget, I had completely forgotten that Supervisor Tom Ammiano sponsored a ballot initiative (Prop H) in 2003 to address such unforeseen financial difficulties. I was not alone. School Board members held a press conference decrying the state cuts last week in which Ammiano’s initiative was not mentioned, and some were unaware of Ammiano’s “rainy day fund” until later informed by the media. Now we all know the happy news.

The fund conceived by Ammiano now holds $118 million, of which schools can get 25%, or $30 million. When Ammiano’s measure appeared on the ballot, I recall myself and many other progressives privately grousing that every day was a “rainy day” for low-income people and that spending should not be deferred. But we were wrong. Ammiano and the voters were right—and thanks to our soon to be Assemblyperson, San Francisco’s schools and basic services are unlikely to suffer sharp cutbacks this year

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