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Mid Year Budget Battle

Well it was money being handed out to community programs day at city council - and for the most part - it seems like smiles are all around during public comment.

The mayor had passionate words about the “arch of spending” within the city. Steinberg couldn’t miss the opportunity to pat himself on the back for his work on increasing the Measure U tax. He understands City Manager Howard Chan’s position on the budget, but made an alternate proposal to take the $50 mill overage from savings and put $23 million aside to balance the 22/23 budget, then invest $27 Million into 3 main areas to:

1) Affordable Housing and Homelessness ($14.8M) This includes replenishing the adorable housing trust fund ($10M), funding the department of community response ($2.8), Sacramento steps forward and women’s and children’s shelter resources ($1M) 2) Economic Development Initiatives ($3.2M) This includes La Familia Opportunity Center ($2M), California Mobility Center ($1M), and WinnPark/Latino Center of Art and Culture ($200K)

3) Youth and Inclusive Community Investment ($9M)

This included $5.5 to build on Councilmember Shenirer’s work, and add Councilmember Vang’s work. It also includes Marina Vista/Alder Grove Neighborhood Revitalization ($2.5M), Addition Racial Equity Initiatives, and the FUEL Network (500K)

The Mayor’s Office of City Engagement reported

“The Council approved the mid-year budget proposal by City Manager Howard Chan to add 19 positions to the Department of Community Response, including 10 outreach workers, two code enforcement officers and seven to work in contracts and administration. The department currently has a total of 23 people, 10 of which do direct outreach. DCR also includes the city’s Office of Violence Prevention.

Sacramento (Feb. 15, 2022) The number of outreach workers offering help and services to unhoused people in the City of Sacramento will more than double under a mid-year budget adopted Tuesday by the Sacramento City Council.”

But the Council discussion wasn’t all sunshine.

Councilmember Harris came in HOT making it clear that his priorities were simply not the same as the Mayor’s. While all the Mayor’s areas are good and fine, Harris wants money for climate change. Councilmember Ashby(and Loloee) need money for code enforcement - and outreach and women/children - but somehow they all have to be bundled together.

Councilmember Harris was ALL in his feelings - he said his constituents agree that this board is very frustrating and doesn’t care about the basic city needs. The needs in question? He defines them as parks and code enforcement.

Guerra suggested a substitute motion to slightly move some money around.

Councilmember Ashby rolled in like a boss, and gave the Mayor a real run for his money about not putting more into a women/children’s fund (she also tied her desire for code enforcement money in). When the Mayor and Guerra wouldn’t give her what she asked for, she started a whole new motion. Ashby’s motion gave the other council members who had made requests what they asked for (Harris, Valenzuela, Vang, and Schienier) as long as she got her requests as well. Her motion narrowly passed 5-4. It was impressive to say the least.

In a night of girl bosses - girl bossing - I hope you take a moment to catch the bonus clip of Councilmember Valenzuela ripping the Midtown Association a new one for trying to walk all over the Latino Center for Arts and Culture. Midtown Association has a reputation of taking advantage of the BIPOC community, and operating from a platform of white supremacy. “Not Today,” Said Valenzuela.

While the community will sleep better today knowing more funding is coming, we’ll all have to hope that City Manager Chan was being too conservative, and that there will be enough money come the end of the year.

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