For Immediate Release
November 11, 2020
Contact: Duc Luu,, 857-373-9118

Public Advocates’ Statement on Defeat of Proposition 15

The defeat of Proposition 15 by wealthy corporations shows just how far we have to go to truly advance equity in California. But rest assured that the fight for adequate funding for our schools and communities is far from over. Poll after poll showed widespread public support for the measure, and the total vote, with more than 7.5 million in favor, is cause for optimism. Californians know that there is an unacceptable gap between the haves and have-nots in our state. Now, the fight for progressive sources of new revenue turns to the Legislature where we can build on this momentum.

The measure’s narrow defeat is nevertheless a tragic setback at a time when our state grapples with multiple crises: a pandemic, wildfires, record unemployment, surging homelessness, and chronically underfunded public schools that are struggling to educate over 6 million school children under unprecedented conditions. An influx of Proposition 15 tax dollars would have provided much-needed relief to school districts and local governments.

Today, our fight for progressive revenue sources continues. Alongside our community partners, we will advocate for every new or existing dollar needed to provide all students with a quality education, to protect families from eviction, and to establish a robust safety net for all Californians.

We call on Governor Newsom to take three immediate steps: (1) close a loophole allowing school district to misallocate billions of dollars intended to benefit high-need students, (2) pass an eviction moratorium to keep families home during the pandemic, and (3) work with the Legislature to secure new and equitable sources of funding. Now is also the time to pass a California Green New Deal which envisions an abundantly-funded public sector that can meet needs of all our communities.

Public Advocates is proud to have served as a member of the Proposition 15 steering committee and we thank all our partners who worked tirelessly to build the growing movement behind the campaign.


Public Advocates is a nonprofit civil rights law firm and advocacy organization that challenges the systemic causes of poverty and discrimination. For nearly fifty years it has strengthened community voices in public policy and achieved tangible legal victories advancing education, housing, transportation, and climate justice.

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