What Is in New $14 Billion Budget?
Every June, the mayor presents the Board of Supervisors with a proposed budget for approval. This year, as a member of the Budget and Appropriations Committee (BAC), my colleagues and I spent the month of June scrutinizing line items, questioning department representatives, and hearing from service providers and the public about their needs.
This year, a priority for the Board was to restore millions in funding that the mayor had cut for neighborhood health and COVID-19 resource hubs; food security programs, particularly for seniors and other vulnerable populations; and shelter for women and children. In addition, my priorities included restoring funds for critical community-based services across the City, particularly in the Richmond District.
I worked with Budget Chair Hillary Ronen, Vice Chair Ahsha Safai, in partnership with Supervisor Dean Preston to allocate a total of $112 million for affordable housing, including $30 million to the Asian Pacific Islander (API) Equity Fund to invest in and stabilize nonprofits that provide critical programs and services in our communities. The API Equity Fund will allow our nonprofits to make critical capital improvements or acquire their sites and ensure they can continue serving our communities for future generations.
I also prioritized restoring funds for the Shared Schoolyards Program, which provides 36 acres of open space through 45 open school yards every weekend and major holiday at sites across the City. We heard from parents how critical these open spaces were for providing safe and secure outdoor spaces for our children and youth, especially during the pandemic.
In the Richmond District, we rely on our nonprofits to provide before school care, food security, and support for our aging population, particularly as our City and economy continue to recover. Through the budget, we added $1 million to support these critical programs – particularly for some of our most vulnerable communities – as well as a D1 Youth Leadership Academy, a D1 Neighborhood and commercial corridor services hub, and outdoor nature education.
Overall, as a part of the committee, we supported the mayor’s effort to invest more than $30 million in downtown revitalization, police academy classes, continuing resources for moving forward street crisis and street wellness teams. We also restored all food security programming, stabilized vital services, and made sure we staffed up to provide equitable city services in all neighborhoods.
I also want to acknowledge so many of our community organizations who not only work hard to serve our constituents from day to day, but also advocate at City Hall for the funding and resources they need to continue serving our district.
If budgets are a statement of our values, then I am proud to say that this year’s budget reflects the shared priorities that we collectively fight so hard for.
Connie Chan represents District 1 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. She can be reached at 415-554-7410 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Categories: City Hall