GETTING BEHIND THE HEADLINES:
FAMILIES LEAVING SAN FRANCISCO
ON THE EVE OF THE CITY'S
FIRST FAMILY FESTIVAL
Mayor's Policy Council to spearhead efforts
to retain San Francisco families
and craft policy recommendations
to address drawbacks outlined in the report
From the Mayor's Office of Communications
October 21, 2005
At a press conference in City Hall today, Mayor Gavin Newsom
released the city's first official report-Getting
Behind the Headlines: Families Leaving San Francisco-that
addresses the declining child and family population. The Mayor
was joined by Margaret Brodkin, Director of the Department of
Children, Youth and their Families, Dr. Robert Corrigan, President
of San Francisco State University, and other members of the Mayor's
Policy Council. Mayor Newsom also took this opportunity to share
his vision for San Francisco families, and outlined his administration's
two-pronged approach necessary to fortify San Francisco's families.
Mayor Gavin Newsom, Dr. Robert Corrigan,
President of San Francisco State University.
Margaret Brodkin, Director of the Department of Children,
Youth and Families
The report-Getting Behind the Headlines: Families Leaving San
Francisco-was prepared by the Public Research Institute at San
Francisco State University on behalf of the Mayor's Policy Council
on Children, Youth and their Families. The Council, whose members
include representatives from city departments, the Chamber of
Commerce, the city's community-based organizations, and academic
institutions, is focused on the exodus of families from the city.
The report sheds light on the simultaneous phenomena of a rising
birth rate and a declining school-age population in San Francisco,
and the reasons families with children under age 6 are most likely
to leave the city. The data reveals that families in all socio-economic
and ethnic groups are leaving, although middle income and African
American families have shown the greatest decline in the past
ten years. Reasons for leaving the city were probed by the researchers
and include housing costs, cost of living generally, and school
"Families are the backbone of our neighborhoods and children
are the city's hope for the future," said Mayor Gavin Newsom.
"We must proactively confront the challenges that drive families
out of San Francisco," Newsom continued. "We aim to
lead the way in addressing this urban issue."
Mayor Newsom released the report on the day prior to the city's
first Family Festival, sponsored by the Mayor's Office in collaboration
with 12 city departments. Saturday's event will kick off the Mayor's
Families Connect, a series of events focusing on the families
that are in the city now. Family Festival (detail sheet enclosed)
will be held at Yerba Buena Gardens on October 22 from 11am until
"We believe that San Francisco can turn the corner, and
not only prevent the exodus of families, but start to attract
more families to raise their children in this exciting city,"
says Margaret Brodkin, Director of the Department of Children,
Youth and their Families and co-chair of the Policy Council.
Although San Francisco is already a national leader in many progressive
family policies-it has the nation's only local earned income tax
credit, is one of the only cities in the country providing universal
health care for children, and has childcare policies that lead
the country-the Policy Council plans more actions over the next
year to address our unique local needs.