Prioritizing Community Needs
By Mayor London?Breed
My Fellow San Franciscans,
Last week, as first step in the upcoming budget cycle, I issued Budget instructions to department heads to guide that process, with Departments scheduled to submit proposed budgets in late-February 2023.
Over the next two years, the City is projecting a budget shortfall of approximately $728.3 million with a $200.8 million deficit in the first year and $527.6 million in the second year. The shortfall is the result of slowed revenue growth, specifically the City’s largest tax revenues that include property and business tax, and loss of temporary federal COVID-19 funding.
To help address this shortfall, I instructed departments to propose reductions, and Department heads will have to prioritize filling vacant positions for core City services that will support the City’s recovery.
Under this direction, City departments will continue to focus on top priorities like public safety and police staffing shortages, the City’s downtown economic recovery, and supporting homelessness and mental health investments. To help meet these needs while also addressing the deficit, the Departments are instructed to:
Propose ongoing reductions of 5% of adjusted General Fund support, and an additional 3% in the second year;
Prioritize filling or reclassifying vacancies for core departmental functions and Mayoral priorities; and propose remaining vacancies for budget savings;
Maintain Mayoral initiatives and recommend ways to fund them more efficiently;
Prepare for outlook to worsen and instructions to be revised given the uncertain economic outlook
Part of our recovery commitment is to make sure that we prioritize our community’s needs and that is why we have allocated $30 million for capital acquisition for community organizations serving the API community. The Request for Proposal soliciting project proposals for these funds is set to be released in early next year for organizations to apply.
Lastly, as public safety continues to be our top priority, I want to thank the San Francisco Police Department for their work on a retail theft abatement operation at multiple locations in the City, leading to 60 arrests to date since the operation began in late-November. The Operation has been an important coordinated effort among plainclothes officers, uniformed officers, and store loss prevention to address theft as it happens at businesses like clothing stores, grocery stores, and pharmacies.
We know the challenges facing San Francisco are significant and we have a lot of work ahead of us to maintain the City’s recovery efforts. it will require tough choices and real tradeoffs. The continued impact brought on by the pandemic certainly has slowed our recovery, but we are making progress. I know we can do the hard work to keep this City moving forward.
Please add me on WeChat for updates and resources: londonbreed.
London N. Breed