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Full Transcript: Mayor London Breed's FY 2019-20 & 2020-21 Budget Proposal

Thank you all for being here today, and thank you to everyone who joined our tour of Sunnydale this morning.

Today we all saw the challenging conditions people are living in right here in this neighborhood, just a few miles from our thriving downtown, and yet -- a world away. 

As someone who grew up in public housing, I’ve known these conditions.

I don’t expect everyone to understand the challenges of public housing the way I do, or the way the residents of Sunnydale do, but I do expect everyone to put in the time to understand. 

I wanted department heads and our elected officials to come here and see for yourselves, the work we have to do.

Thank you to everyone who joined us, especially the members of the Board of Supervisors.

Today is not just about the investments we are making in our upcoming budget.

It’s also about the commitments behind those investments. 

Commitments to communities like Sunnydale. 

Commitments to San Franciscans who, for far too long, have been left behind.

San Francisco is a city with a heart, but we also have to be a city with a memory. 

A memory not only for the commitments we’ve kept, but the ones we have failed to keep.

For too long, Sunnydale and our public housing communities were one of those failed commitments. 

We are changing that, with our RAD program, which has rehabilitated over 2500 units of public housing, and through Hope SF, which is revitalizing and transforming communities in Hunters View, Alice Griffith, Potrero, and right here in Sunnydale.

And with the restructuring and long overdue transformation of the San Francisco Housing Authority, we are building and rehabbing housing, creating stronger and healthier communities, and investing in the people who live here.

We owe it to them to keep our commitment, and to make a difference for this community, and others all across the City.


With every decision we make, I want equity and accountability to be at the forefront of our minds. 

We have to be focused on people in all of our neighborhoods, like the people who live right here in Sunnydale, who for too long have been living with broken pipes, mold, infestations, dilapidated conditions.

People like Breonna Frierson, a third generation Sunnydale resident.

Breonna and her three sisters grew up here, and they have lived through the conditions you all saw today.

Despite these challenges, Breonna has become a leader in her community, and she is fighting for the next generation.

She has not given up on her community, and we cannot give up on her. 

We have to be accountable to Breonna and the thousands of residents like her across our city who are living in public housing and our low-income communities. 

Our budget will be accountable to them, both by continuing our work to improve conditions here, and our continued commitment to provide funding to keep thousands of Housing Authority residents secure in their homes, but also by recognizing that we need to do more to keep people in these neighborhoods safe and supported.

For too long, Sunnydale was not a safe community. 

Families were torn apart by violence, by gunfire, by crime, by tragedy, frustration, and anger.

This community has lived with all that, which is why I wanted to come here today. 

To acknowledge the past, yes, but also to commit to a better and brighter future. 

Making communities like Sunnydale safer isn’t just about enforcing the laws and making sure we have more officers on our streets.

It’s about giving people opportunities, and investing in changing people’s lives.

It’s about interrupting  the cycle of violence and despair we have seen over and over.

That starts with doing more for our young people in this budget, including investing more in Opportunities for All so the next generation has access to jobs and careers that can transform their futures, offering stipends to teachers who commit to teach in public schools facing the most challenges so all students have access to strong, experienced educators, and fully funding Free City College so everyone has a path to a higher education.

We are expanding public health, recreation, and nutrition programs for kids, including mental health services to provide support for kids experiencing trauma, so they can build up their lives and thrive. 

All of our young people -- no matter where they live -- should have access to the amazing opportunities this City has to offer.


As we work to support the next generation, we also must do more to help those who are sadly living on our streets. 

In this budget, we are following through on funding our commitment to add 1,000 new shelter beds by 2020. 

We are also using our funding to create 820 new units of permanent supportive housing over the next two years.

However, reducing homelessness means more than just creating places for people to go.

We need to do more to prevent homelessness and keep people housed, which is why we are adding five million dollars to increase homelessness prevention and diversion efforts, we are fully funding our Tenant’s Right to Counsel, so every renter has a legal defense when threatened with eviction, and we are providing housing subsidies for transgender and gender non-conforming people, who are 18 times more likely to experience homelessness than the general population. 

We are also creating a new five year pilot program to provide rental subsidies for rent burdened families and seniors to keep them secure in their housing, so that rising rents don’t force hundreds of people out of their homes. 

With these commitments, we can keep people stable, keep them housed, and prevent homelessness from ever becoming a part of their lives.  

We are also helping those with mental illness and substance use disorder by adding funding for 100 new behavioral health beds, including 50 new beds at San Francisco General for homeless residents with mental health challenges, and 50 beds specifically for people suffering from both mental health and substance use disorder.  

Combined with the 100 beds we already announced earlier this year, that means we are committing 200 new beds for our most vulnerable residents this year alone.

That is the most significant expansion of behavioral health beds in a generation. 

We are also expanding our EMS 6 program, which is the Fire Department’s emergency response crew that works with those who suffer from mental health and substance use issues on our streets.

This funding will allow EMS 6 to provide coverage 24/7, so the City can be out there helping people every minute of every day 


These are just some of the investments we are making to help our residents today.

As we do this work, though, we also have to be accountable to the next generation.

We have to have vision, and not lose sight of what is coming ten, twenty years down the line.

We know that the crisis of those living on our streets isn’t just about a place to rest indoors or access to mental health care.

It’s also about housing. 

We all know the costs of housing are too high. 

We also know that these challenges did not develop overnight.

Which means it won’t be fixed overnight. 

It’s going to take fundamental change.

Let’s start with increasing funding for affordable housing.

I’m proud to be working with so many members on this Board of Supervisors to place a $600 million affordable housing bond on this year’s ballot: the largest affordable housing bond in the City’s history...without raising property taxes.

We are providing support not just for our low-income households and our seniors, but also for our middle-income residents.

We are also increasing investments in this budget to add over one hundred forty million dollars for the production and preservation of affordable housing, so we can buy more land, fully fund more projects, and preserve more rent-controlled housing. 

All in, through this proposed affordable housing bond, our current budget, our previous ERAF spending, and other efforts, over the first year I’ve been in office, we have identified over a billion dollars in new funding to build, preserve, and support affordable housing.

A billion dollars in new funding.  

This builds on top of the over 900 million we have already committed to build and support affordable housing throughout our City. 

However, our support for housing can’t just be about funding.

If we are ever going to make a difference on housing, we have to make changes to how we build, and we can’t fear solutions that make it easier and faster to build housing. 

If we say we support affordable housing, our actions have to follow our values. 

We have to cut the red tape, the barriers, and the bureaucracy, not just for some affordable housing projects. Not just for some in-law units. Not just for some homeless shelters.

For all housing for everyone.


As we build, we must continue to expand our transportation system and infrastructure, especially to support our outer neighborhoods like here in the southeast.

Every neighborhood in our City needs better and more reliable access to transit, and they need better, safer streets.

This budget adds $30 million to fund transit operations, including speeding up the purchase of new light-rail trains, and modernizing our train control system so we see fewer delays in our subway, so that we can all get to where we need to go faster and more reliably. 

We also have added $2.5 million for Vision Zero improvement projects to make our streets safer.

We have seen too many traffic-related deaths on our streets, and this funding will help us to double the pace of protected bike lane construction, and make our streets safer for pedestrians on our most dangerous corridors. 

Through our Capital Plan, which we are fully funding, we will spend $130 million over the next two years to improve our roads. That means fewer potholes, and smoother rides for buses, bicyclists, and drivers. 

Our Capital Plan will also invest in strengthening our cultural centers, libraries, health centers, public safety facilities, and improving our parks and public spaces. 


We will also continue to support improvements to make our neighborhoods cleaner, safer, and more vibrant.

We are adding twelve million dollars to our existing cleaning budget to expand street cleaning in the Tenderloin, SOMA and Chinatown, fund 80 more BigBelly Trash cans, and add 7 new Pit Stops, including expanding hours, so people can use the bathroom with dignity. 

This is on top of the 74 million dollars we spend every year to keep our streets clean. 

We are supporting our plan to hire more police so we can get more officers out walking beats in our neighborhoods, and continue our work that has reduced violent crime, property crime, and auto break-ins in our City. 

We are committing nine million dollars to support small businesses and commercial corridors, which builds on our work to streamline the bureaucracy that gets in the way of growing businesses.

Our small business owners should be focused on serving their customers, not navigating City Hall. 

These are just some of the priorities we are funding in this budget.

I’m proud of the investments we are making, and I am proud of the City we are working to build. 

I want to thank everyone who has put in the time to put this budget together, particularly our incredible budget team and our Budget Director Kelly Kirkpatrick. They have been working relentlessly day in and day out to get this done for the people of this City. 

I want to end by talking about a young man named Wallace Pallette. 

Wallace was born here in Sunnydale, and still lives here.

Life hasn’t been easy for him.

He grew up among the violence I spoke about earlier. 

He faced some challenging times,  including his own challenges with the law.

Unlike so many others who we lost to violence or the criminal justice system, Wallace worked through his struggles,
• and he’s now focusing on doing what’s right, including raising his daughter. 

Now, just down the hill from here is a construction site.

It’s the first new building being constructed here at Sunnydale as part of Hope SF. 
It is a bright sign for the future of this incredible and resilient community.

Wallace is a member of the construction team.

He is building up this beautiful new community with his hands, and with his heart.

He’s being accountable to himself, his daughter, and his community.

He’s being accountable to the next generation so they have a Sunnydale where they can grow, live, and thrive.

He is building a better San Francisco. 

I am committed to this community because people like Wallace are committed to this community.

I am committed to this city because people like Breonna  are committed to this city. 

As we all leave Sunnydale here today, let’s remember our job is to be accountable to everyone in this City,
• Not just those who have the time to come to City Hall.

We have to be there for those who have hope, and to those who need hope.  

This budget is part of our commitment.

By keeping those commitments, we can and will build a stronger, more resilient San Francisco. 

A City not just for some, but for all San Franciscans.