Evaluation of the Prop 10 Civic Engagement Project for Children and Families
EVALUATION OF THE PROP 10 CIVIC ENGAGEMENT PROJECT (1999-2001)
In November 1998 California voters approved Proposition 10, which placed a new $.50 per pack tax on cigarettes. The funds generated by the tax are designated for programs and services that support children ages 0-5, including the areas of child care, health, and parent education. Tax funds are distributed proportionally to each of the state's 58 counties based on their birth rate, and each county establishes an independent commission to make decisions on how best to use the funding. Prop 10 provides a rare opportunity because counties will now have relatively large amounts of discretionary funding that can be used to support locally designed programs.
Beginning in late 1999, eight counties - Contra Costa, Monterey, San Diego, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, and Yolo - joined the Prop 10 Civic Engagement Project. Each participating county received supplemental funds from a consortium of five private foundations. These funds were used to broaden the participation of the public in Prop 10 decision-making, and engage all participants in a deeper and more reflective dialogue about shared values and common concerns.
A California Communities Program evaluation team was selected by the Prop 10 Civic Engagement Project to evaluate their activities. Campus-based Cooperative Extension Specialists worked with county Cooperative Extension Advisors and other local collaborators to monitor and learn from the project. Key evaluation activities include observations of public meetings and sponsored dialogues; interviews with Prop 10 county commissioners, staff, and citizen participants; and a review of Prop 10 strategic plans and other documents. The purpose of the evaluation is to aid the reflection of project staff as they implement activities, and generate a deeper understanding of the meaning and nature of civic engagement, and how it can be more effectively promoted. (July 2002)