Mayor Breed and Supervisor Walton to Lead Effort on Redirecting Funding from the Police Department to the African-American Community
Community process will help identify key investment priorities in the upcoming budget
San Francisco, CA – Mayor London N. Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton announced today a plan to prioritize the redirection of resources from the San Francisco Police Department to support the African-American community in the upcoming budget. They will lead a collaborative process with the community in partnership with the Human Rights Commission to help identify and prioritize funding needs.
Decades of disinvestment in the African-American community and racially disparate policies in San Francisco have exacerbated disproportionate harm in Black communities, affecting outcomes from health and wellness to housing insecurity and economic outcomes. In San Francisco, the average income for a Black household is $31,000, as compared with $110,000 for white families. As many as 19% of African-American children in San Francisco live in poverty. Black and African-American individuals comprise 35% of the City’s unhoused population, despite making up only 5% of the population as a whole.
This inequality perpetuates the systemic social determinants of health. Black communities in San Francisco have higher rates of diabetes, higher rates of maternal mortality, and are more likely to be hospitalized for heart disease than other races.
“While the events of the last week have been painful and traumatic for so many of us, they have brought forward the devastating impacts of police violence against African-Americans in this country,” said Mayor London Breed. “San Francisco has made substantial progress on police reform in recent years, especially around our use-of-force policies, but we know there are structural inequities in our city that continue to impact our African-American community each and every day. Since this pandemic began, we have seen how the type of work, schools, neighborhoods, homes, and support systems in our communities combine to put these groups at the greatest risk of suffering both disease and economic damage. Reforms to any single system, such as the criminal justice system or the police department, must go in hand-in-hand with closing the gaps and ending the disparities that we know exist. By bringing the community into the process of making these decisions, we can ensure that those who have been voiceless in the past now have a seat at the table as we make decisions that will impact their community.”
“We have been pushing for reparations for Black people here in San Francisco for decades. We have continued to see our organizations inequitably disregarded and disproportionately left out of receipt of vital resources,” said Supervisor Shamann Walton. “In these times of continued systemic and systematic oppression of Black people, we have to be innovative and strong with our solutions. In order to change this dynamic and provide real opportunity for equity, we need to repurpose resources and give them to Black-led organizations and communities in order to level the playing field and achieve successful outcomes. This is a concrete, bold and immediate step towards true reparations for Black people. I’m excited to lead on this with Mayor Breed.”
Mayor Breed will be submitting a two-year budget proposal by August 1st, 2020, which will then be taken up by the Board of Supervisors. Individuals who wish to participate in open meetings on reinvestment in the African-American community through the Human Rights Commission should email HRC-Roundtable@sfgov.org for an invitation.