Happy new year folx, we're bringing you a short update on Sacramento County's 2023 budget cycle!
From agenda item doc
The purpose of this meeting:
1. Receive a presentation on budget priority focus groups conducted with County residents
2. Approve recommended budget priorities to be used in the development of the FY 2023-24 Recommended Budget
Some background on the focus groups:
On June 9, 2021, County staff presented, and the Board approved, a Community Engagement Plan for the FY 2022-23 budget in order to increase public engagement in and understanding of the County’s budget, as well as to develop priorities for the County’s budget that are based on public input. This plan included hiring a professional public opinion firm to conduct a scientific public opinion survey to determine County residents’ priorities for the County’s budget
Now, let's talk about those presentations
First, was a presentation by a group called F3 - they were paid by the County to do some focus groups with county residents around public investment. Slide deck linked here.
As can be seen in the slide above, one of the priorities that emerged from the presentation was tackling homelessness. However, people who participated in their focus groups were split down the middle on if money dedicated to homelessness should be spent on services or enforcement. Another thing the presenters mentioned was that even when participants said that they didn’t prioritize homelessness specific spending, they acknowledged that more investments into a social safety net would benefit people at risk of homelessness.
Another interesting thing that emerged was that the participants particularly gravitated to services targeted at children and families. There was also more support for indirect services over cash aid.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: it's necessary to name that the focus groups the BOS is using as a basis for their budget priorities were comprised of no more than 36 people (see slide below). And then they have the gall to demand we respect them and their process for that. This was an absolutely pitiful "outreach" attempt.
After F3 came the County's presentation - see the slide deck - basically they concluded that the focus group priorities were in line with the results of the County's budgeting outreach efforts, and that they were therefore going to recommend keeping the same budget priorities for the 2023/24 year as they did for 2022/23. The Board unanimously agreed. The priorities can be found in the image below:
Stay tuned for more developments and opportunities for engagement, there's much more budget action to come this year!