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Saturday, July 20, 2024

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City HallThe AgendaProtests and public comment on Breed's budget ...

Protests and public comment on Breed’s budget …

...Plus a bright-line supes vote on a critical tenant issue. That's The Agenda for June 24-30.


The public will have a chance to weigh in on Mayor London Breed’s budget proposals Monday/24 at the Budget and Appropriations Committee meeting.

Supporters of the People’s Budget will rally outside of City Hall to denounce Breed’s cuts to essential services and programs (while the cops get a lot more money).

The meeting starts at 10am.

The mayor’s budget cuts almost everything—except the cops. Photo by Ebbe Roe Yovino Smith

Then on Wednesday/26, the Budget and Legislative Analyst’s Office will appear to make further recommendations on cuts. Some of those are already under discussion, and many departments have agreed with the proposed reductions.

But the direction of public safety is still very much up in the air; the mayor’s proposal, and the BLA proposals, cut the Public Defender’s Office budget at the same time that the cops are arresting far more people, putting more strain on the entire system.

Public Defender Mano Raju read from some Police Department press releases at the June 21 hearing:

Oct. 13, 2023: night operations lead to 23 arrests. February 12th, 2024: San Francisco [Drug Market Coordination Center]marks one year milestone, 3,000 arrests. May 29th, 2024: Public safety camera technology delivering early results. June12, 2024: SFPD makes 57 arrests in tenderloin fugitive recovery enforcement. So these are all very directly increasing the workload of our staff every single day.

They are also increasing the workload of the sheriff, adult probation, and the courts.

The Mayor’s Office seems to take the position that it doesn’t matter what happens to people after they are arrested, as long as the cops get them off the streets. But the entire criminal justice system has to be able to handle a large volume of new arrests, prisoners, and prosecutions.

That’s not part of the budget.

The mayor wants to provide all sorts of new incentives to keep current cops from retiring and to recruit new ones—but there’s no similar effort for public defenders.

Among other cuts, the mayor’s budget eliminates significant spending on public health. Under state law, cities and counties can’t eliminate health services without a public hearing; that will happen as a Committee of the Whole at 3pm Tuesday/25.

The full board will also vote, after a week’s delay, on a measure by Sup. Dean Preston that would put the Board of Supes on record supporting a measure allowing stronger rent control in California.

Big Real Estate is working hard to defeat the measure, including pressuring the supes by arguing that effective rent control would prevent the construction of new housing, and thus a reduction in prices, (an argument landlords have been making, with no real evidence, for decades).

At last week’s meeting, Sup. Catherine Stefani read a statement that could have been written by the landlord lobbyists (maybe it was). She and Sup. Matt Dorsey delayed the vote.

But now all 11 supes will have to vote on it, and there’s a pretty clear line here: Every tenant organization in San Francisco supports the measure. Every tenant organization in the state supports the measure. The opponents are all allies of the real-estate industry.

There’s really no fuzziness about this, it’s a pretty bright-line vote. Which will show us where the supes are on a high-profile tenant issue.

It could also be an issue in the fall supes elections—and in the mayor’s race, especially if the resolution passes and Breed decides to veto it.

The Rules Committee will hold a special meeting Thursday/27 to consider three potential City Charter amendments for the fall ballot. On the agenda: Sup. Aaron Peskin’s proposal to create an Inspector General in the Controller’s Office who would have the power to issue subpoenas and fight corruption; Sup. Shamann Walton’s proposal to make the director of the Department of Police Accountability an elected office; and Sup. Ahsha Safai’s proposal to put the Department of Emergency Management in the City Charter. That hearing starts at 10am.

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tim Redmond
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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