On Saturday, May 20th, 2023, about 150 community members came together to have an important dialogue about the priorities in our neighborhoods. Participants represented 5 languages, more than 7 different neighborhoods, and formed 10 small groups to discuss and organize around how the City’s 2-year budget reflects our shared values and priorities!
At our Town Hall, we:
Heard more about the Mayor’s Proposed Two-Year Budget, which closes a historic $360 million deficit without layoffs, while maintaining critical City services and making record investments in affordable housing.
Discussed how the Mayor’s Proposed Budget addresses District 2 Budget priorities, what’s missing, and key questions we still have.
Committed to staying engaged in the Budget process with upcoming City Council meetings (see below for details!)
We loved hearing and seeing folks discuss their priorities in these 5 topic areas. Here’s a snapshot of what we heard:
Housing Security & Homelessness Solutions: We like the record investment of $216M in affordable housing and $108M for unhoused shelter and services. We also want to: Preserve funding for homeless services, prevention, and sanitation. Build affordable housing across the district and City. Utilize public land for affordable housing and public good. Protect tenants and funding for affordable housing.
Community Safety, Prevention, & Healing: We like expanding MACRO crisis response and investing millions in traffic safety. We also want to: Preserve funding for the Department of Violence Prevention and MACRO. Reinvest funds towards community organizations and projects for youth and families, and restorative justice measures. Enforce against traffic violence, prioritize traffic calming and other road safety measures, and civilianize police positions to deal with non-violent crime.
Clean, Healthy, Sustainable Neighborhoods: We like filling positions in public works and expanding Head Start. We also want to: Keep parks clean and activated. Fund community-based programs that partner with the City on youth and family empowerment and services. Invest in children and youth, as well as Head Start.
Good Jobs and Vibrant Economy: We like filling positions in Planning & Building to support our economy. We also want to: Preserve funding for Arts & Cultural Events programs. Increase cultural arts events to attract more economic activity and investment to our communities. Support small BIPOC businesses, and help vendors and creators, especially at Lake Merritt. Unfreeze economic development positions.
Capital Improvement Projects: We like that Lincoln Rec and San Antonio Park are included as capital projects. We also want to: Close funding gap for Lincoln Recreation and Resilience Center to build a model center of climate resilience that serves residents citywide. Fund San Antonio Park planning, including library, recreation center, and resilience center. Invest in Clinton Park and Recreation Center in Little Saigon.
Join us by attending upcoming Budget Meetings!
June 14, 4pm @ City Hall: Special Council Meeting on Council President Bas’ Budget Amendments
June 26, 4pm @ City Hall: Special Council Meeting to Approve Balanced Budget
June 28, 4pm @ City Hall: Special Council Meeting to Approve Balanced Budget, if needed
Finally, a huge THANK YOU to the dozens of volunteers who jumped in with setup and registration, food distribution, small group facilitators, text translators and interpretation equipment management, cleanup, and more. This was truly a District 2 Team and community effort!
See you at an upcoming Budget Meeting! Together, we can ensure that the City's Final Budget reflects our shared values and priorities.
Nikki Fortunato Bas
For more information about the budget, the process, or other items, you can check out these resources:
Photo credit: Alonso Hernandez