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Sunday, January 17, 2021
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City Hall The Agenda Breed budget comes to the supes

Breed budget comes to the supes

Cuts for the police? Cuts for frontline city workers? Plus: stopping power cut-offs and the future of SFUSD and City College -- that's The Agenda for Aug. 9-16


The mayor’s budget proposal, delayed because of the COVID crisis, comes before the Board of Supes Budget and Appropriations Committee Wed/12, Thu/13 and Fri/14. It’s going to be a marathon of hearings, department by department, as the board members try to figure out what the mayor has cut that shouldn’t have been cut, and what can and can’t be saved, and what the city’s priorities ought to be.

The mayor’s proposed budget gets its major public hearings this week.

Possibly the most interesting moment will come Friday, when the SFPD budget is on the line. The mayor has proposed cutting $120 million over two years from the SFPD and the Sheriff’s Office and redirecting it to reparations programs for the Black community.

SFPD gets nearly $700 million a year. I suspect some will argue that the cuts could go much further.

And all of this is happening with the backdrop of city workers being asked to delay raises that they have already bargained for and are in their contract – and the mayor so far not endorsing the CEO tax and the Big Real Estate taxes on the fall ballot.

The hearings start at 10am.

We’re hearing stories from all over town of landlords doing major renovation work during the pandemic – construction workers coming into and out of buildings, noise, dust, and in some cases, electricity and water cut-offs. All while people are supposed to be sheltering in place and working from home.

So of this, of course, is probably another tactic to drive out long-term rent-controlled tenants.

So Sups. Aaron Peskin, Hillary Ronen, and Shamann Walton, whose districts have seen some of the worst abuses, have introduced legislation that essentially bans any construction work that involves water or power shutoffs during the COVID crisis.

Technically, the bill says that landlords can’t do it without providing “alternative sources of water and power,” but that would be a stretch – sure, you can offer bottled water, but you can’t offer and alternative shower. And in multi-unit buildings, installing generators and connecting them to the building’s main electrical boxes is not going to be worth it.

The measure comes before the Land Use and Transportation Committee Monday/10 at 1:30PM.

The board’s joint committee with the School District and City College Board doesn’t meet that often (and when it does, some of the members don’t show up), but Friday/14, the committee will meet to discuss the impact of COVID on the two public school systems.

There is so much at stake. City College is facing a massive crisis, and SFUSD is trying to figure out how to do online learning (really hard for young kids) and how to make sure every family has access to computers and the Internet.

And the wealthier parents are looking at “learning pods,” taking resources away from the public schools.

The meeting starts at 10am.

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.
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