A Balanced, Moral Budget
A budget is a moral document. And our City’s budget, recently signed into law by Mayor London Breed, is not only moral, but balanced – fiscally and ideologically. It reflects a collaborative, constructive and historic investment in addressing the biggest priorities and challenges facing our City.
The annual budget is the single most important piece of legislation I vote on, and as a member of the Budget Committee, it is the legislation that takes more of my time, attention and care than any other.
I am immensely proud of both the process and product of this year’s budget. While it’s far from perfect, it’s the result of earnest, effective deliberations between our branches of local government, between policymakers and departments, and between the City and community stakeholders. I’m proud because I think this budget reflects San Francisco values and will lead to a better City. And I’m proud because it includes historic, hard-fought, and hard-won investments in and for the Sunset and District 4. Here are some of the highlights:
We’re continuing our investments in San Francisco’s economic recovery with $47.4 million over two years dedicated to small business support and other recovery initiatives. And as we contend with increasing anti-Asian hate crimes and rising property crimes and safety concerns, we’re committing unprecedented resources towards public safety – including both policing and community-based alternatives to policing. This includes a police hiring plan to fill 200 SFPD vacancies, including new academy classes and recruitment and retention initiatives, and ongoing investments in the Street Crisis Response Teams (SCRT), Street Wellness Response Teams (SWRT), and Street Opioid Response Team that represent holistic, service-based solutions for crises on our streets.
As part of this, I’ve secured funding to bring community ambassadors to the Sunset as part of my five-point public safety plan. The plan also includes senior escorts in partnership with Self Help for the Elderly, an expansion of our pilot to install free Ring video doorbells for seniors, the Sunset Safety Squad, and the creation of the Sunset Safety Network. And we’re providing $4 million for a new program to remove graffiti at no cost to property owners. This is in addition to my legislation expanding Community Policing Plans across the City – work we’ll continue and will have more updates on soon.
I was proud to sponsor Supervisor Dean Preston’s Social Housing Budget Package, and work to secure additional investments in affordable housing for the west side. These accomplishments include: $40 million for 100% affordable housing projects; $12 million for affordable housing for educators – building on the success we’ll soon see from Shirley Chisholm Village, the City’s first affordable educator housing project that will soon break ground at the Francis Scott Key Annex site on 43rd Avenue; millions more for repairs and improvements in existing affordable housing sites; funding for ongoing operations of 410 new adult shelter beds, shelter-in-place hotels, housing subsidies for vulnerable communities; and expanding the City’s behavioral health treatment bed capacity. I also personally fought for and won funding to develop a Citywide Housing Master Plan for Seniors and People with Disabilities, as well as funding to develop a new Residential Care Facility for the Elderly pilot project in the Sunset.
I was proud to join with Supervisors Connie Chan and Aaron Peskin to fight for and win $30 million to stabilize nonprofit service providers that directly serve Asian and Pacific Islander communities in San Francisco – communities that are facing new and growing threats and challenges that deserve and require new and increasing investments to address.
This budget makes a substantial investment in essential workers – the workers who carried our City through this pandemic, kept lights on and vital services running. This includes funding to ensure workers know their rights and have those rights protected, and workforce training for families living in Single Room Occupancy units (SROs). It also includes raises for frontline workers at supportive housing sites, public and nonprofit-sector workers, and the early educators who are critical and necessary pieces of the social infrastructure supporting families throughout San Francisco.
The support involves millions of dollars in expanded funding for childcare vouchers for vulnerable families; support for Family Resource Centers; an improved sign-up system to help families access supportive services; and increased resources for other forms of child and family wellness.
I partnered with Mayor Breed on a historic $4 million investment to expand college and career readiness programs, benefiting today’s students while paving a path for tomorrow’s educators, workers, leaders and entrepreneurs.
In District 4, I won funding for STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) grants for every single public school in our district, continuing funding for City College Sunset to bring free City College classes chosen by and for the Sunset to our neighborhood, mental health support for transitional age youth in the Sunset, and workforce development programs for teens and young adults in D4.
I helped secure investments for the development of a new veterans’ community center, bridging the digital divide for older adults, expanding transit subsidies for seniors and people with disabilities, supporting mental health services for family caregivers, assisting low income families with school enrollment, and expanding funding for defense services for immigrants. And I solely funded more District 4 neighborhood events and support for seniors, operating support for our farmers market, new arts activations, and a new project to preserve the Mothers Building at the SF Zoo.
And finally, this budget makes a historic investment in climate action. When this budget was presented to the Board of Supervisors, it included zero dollars for the Department of the Environment and the City’s Climate Action Plan. I made it a personal priority to address that, and I won $2.6 million for local climate action, the largest-ever investment from the general fund for the Department of the Environment. I also won unprecedented investments in restoring and improving the greenway of Sunset Boulevard. We will share more about these investments soon. Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us at facebook.com/d4gordonmar for the latest updates.
All of these investments were hard-fought and hard-won to ensure District 4 got our fair share from the City budget – and I look forward to working with our neighborhood and communities to ensure we see returns on these investments in our shared priorities for months and years to come.
Gordon Mar represents District 4 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He can be reached at 415-554-7460 or email@example.com.
Categories: City Hall
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