San Francisco Nonprofits Concerned Over Mayor Breed’s Budget Proposal


Nonprofit organizations in San Francisco are raising concerns about Democratic Mayor London Breed’s recent budget proposal, which could potentially exclude many of them.

Breed’s plan, unveiled last week, seeks to address a nearly $800 million two-year deficit while fulfilling commitments to strengthen the city’s police force, reduce homelessness, and rejuvenate downtown San Francisco’s economy.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks to supporters at an election night party, Tuesday, March, 5, 2024, in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

“It is clear that the San Francisco budget will be balanced on the backs of the working class residents of San Francisco,” the People’s Budget Coalition, which formed in response to last year’s budget process, stated following the release of Breed’s proposal.

The coalition is particularly concerned about the 6% increase in funding for police staffing, raising the agency’s budget to an unprecedented $821.6 million.

The coalition argues that the additional funding for law enforcement detracts from other city initiatives, such as after-school programs, community gardens, and workforce development classes, as reported by the San Francisco Examiner reported. They assert that these programs enrich communities and help address some of the root causes of poverty and crime.

“It is not possible to claim to prioritize economic recovery, homelessness, and public safety while cutting funding for the organizations that have a proven track record of keeping our communities afloat,” the PBC added in their statement.

The coalition estimates that Breed’s budget would lead to a $39 million reduction in grant funding for programs assisting the city’s youth and families compared to the previous year.

Leaders of nonprofit organizations warn that the funding cuts may force layoffs among staff working in violence intervention, restorative justice, and summer learning enrichment programs.

“Nonprofit organizations are the reason why the homeless get food, housing, and rehabilitation,” said Office and Professional Employees International Union Local 29 head Althea Antoine in an interview with 48 Hills. “I feel like a dog who is thrown a bone. Take what you get and be happy.”

Union representative Jane Bosio told the Truth Voices on Thursday that Breed’s budget decisions appear to be politically motivated.

“The moves she is making with this budget, that it’s overly underproviding for nonprofits and vastly overproviding for health and safety programs such as the police and sheriff’s departments, is really aimed at quieting her critics and boosting her in the polls in a difficult election year,” Bosio said. “The one thing that has been very obvious about the mayor is that she is very moved by the media she receives.”

Bosio added that Breed could intervene to assist nonprofits but chooses not to.

“It’s much more concerning to her, it appears, what her image is and what her favorability is as opposed to making long-term decisions,” she said.

Breed’s spokeswoman, Parisa Safarzadeh, told the San Francisco Examiner that the mayor’s proposal maintains funding for many of San Francisco’s homelessness programs.

The budget also includes $133.5 million for the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, which will partly fund the expansion of housing options for families and adolescents.

Additionally, the budget would enhance San Francisco’s early childcare and education programs with $120 million in new investments, Safarzadeh stated.

Breed has been heavily criticized by her competitors in the mayoral race, two of whom are sitting supervisors who will vote on her budget.

Barnini Chakraborty
Barnini Chakraborty
Senior Investigations Reporter. Barnini Chakraborty has previously worked at Fox News as a senior features and politics reporter. She's also worked at Fox Business as a field producer and at Dow Jones. She began her career at the Augusta Chronicle in Georgia.

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