Mayor's 2015-2017 Proposed Two Year Balanced Budget

Mayor's 2015-2017 Proposed Two Year Balanced Budget

June 1, 2015

Board of Supervisors Board Chamber, San Francisco

Text of Mayor's 2015-2017 Proposed Balanced Budget Speech

Our City’s budget is a reflection of our values, and we are making historic investments to make sure our City remains safe, solvent and successful and a City in which everyone can prosper.

It was just a few short years ago that we were suffering from an entrenched economic recession, nearly double digit unemployment and massive budget shortfalls. We were forced to make some very hard decisions.

But today, thanks to our budget discipline, our smart economic policies that focused on job creation, and the innovation and resiliency of our residents and business community, we are in a unique position to ensure that every resident can share in the prosperity of our City.

We have an opportunity to ensure that we have:

* A Safe City

* A Caring City

* An Educated City

* A Livable City

* A City that Moves

* A City that Meets our Affordability Challenges

A Safe City

My budget doubles down on our public safety investments to meet the needs of a growing City and the growing demands on our first responders. We will hire 400 police officers, 198 firefighters, 55 paramedics; and 36 9-1-1 dispatchers.

And, I know that we all agree that a safe San Francisco is about more than public safety – it is also about strengthening our social safety net, so that we are a Caring City.

Caring City

And, the “heart” of our system of care is San Francisco General Hospital which will open later this year. I am proud that we have worked together to build a new, seismically safe, state-of-the-art Hospital that will serve our City for generations. My budget includes 115 new medical staff to deliver world class care at General Hospital.

Our community based organizations that also provide quality healthcare and other social services to our residents will receive a five percent increase over the next two years.

But with new resources, we must agree to work together to ensure both sustainability as well as accountability. That’s why together with the non-profit community, we will develop a plan to address these important issues.

This year, my budget will also make unprecedented investments to serve and house our homelessness. We’re seeing real success with our innovative Navigation Center – but we must ensure that we have true exits from homelessness. That’s why we are including 500 units of new supportive housing for homeless individuals in our budget.

This year, through our stepped up efforts, we will end chronic veteran’s homelessness. But we must do more. Now is the time to take on the challenge of ending family homelessness. With a strong partnership between the City, the community and philanthropy, I know together we can rise to the challenge and end family homelessness.

Speaking of families, let’s remember that seniors are an important and growing part of our City Family. We need to make sure we are serving this growing population. My budget includes $7.4 million of new investments to clear the home delivered meals waitlist, make sure people can live in their homes longer, and expand senior center programs. These investments represent only a down payment on the true need. I look forward to working with members of the Board of Supervisors and the advocates for the Dignity Fund. Modeled after our Transportation Task Force, let’s work together to develop a roadmap that outlines both the needs in our community and recommends sustainable funding.

At the same time, we need to invest in our youth and the future.

An Educated City

Thanks to the leadership of the Board of Education and Superintendent Carranza, we continue to be one of the top performing urban school districts in California, and by many measures, in the nation.

We have all worked together to be a stronger City with stronger and better public schools. But we know we have to do more, and we have to make sure our investments lead to the outcomes our kids deserve. We know they have to be prepared to succeed in a 21st Century economy and that our City needs to remain affordable.

That’s why my budget includes $690 million to support San Francisco’s public schools, Preschool for All programs and more summer programs and afterschool programs to clear out the waiting lists.

We are making sure our children are educated and ready to succeed – by working together to reauthorize the Children’s Fund and Public Education Enrichment Fund, and through our bold new effort to improve outcomes for ALL San Francisco’s children and families with the Our Children, Our Families Council.

Not one agency alone can tackle the challenges that many of our families face. And thanks to the voter-approved Prop C, we are bringing together the City, the School District, and the community to this council to create a policy agenda that truly puts children and families first.

A Livable City

And San Francisco, with more people living and working here than at any other time in our history, we must continue to be a livable city. That’s why we will invest $253.4 million in our capital plan to maintain streets and roads, invest in access for people with disabilities and make water-wise investments to address the drought.

We will invest in our public spaces, our urban forest and make sure our streets are cleaner, safer and more enjoyable. And while we do that, we will continue to invest in our parks, playgrounds, and libraries. And this coming year, working together in a process led by Supervisor Farrell, partnering with the community, we will

develop a shared understanding about the parks and open space that our City needs as we grow and recommends sustainable funding strategies to meet those needs.

But, livability is about more than the physical environment around us – it is also about the vibrancy of our city and its neighborhoods. My budget includes new funding for my Arts Shared Prosperity Agenda – more than $7 million to support artists, cultural equity, and generally into our arts ecosystem.

And I am challenging my Mayor’s Office of Housing, the Arts Commission and the Office of Community Investment and Infrastructure to work together to bring me a plan to build artist housing in San Francisco.

A City That Moves

And, we need to move people in and around our City better and faster.

Our investment in our City’s public transportation system will make Muni more reliable, safe, clean, and ready to meet the demands of a growing City and growing ridership. San Francisco voters approved investments in transportation infrastructure without raising property tax rates, and we will improve Muni and make it easier to move around our City by bus, by car, by bicycle and on foot. Our riders deserve a 21st Century transportation experience with improved service and less crowding by moving Muni forward.

The result is the SFMTA’s first-ever $1 billion operating budget to improve transit performance and reliability. The SFMTA operates the nation’s eighth largest public transit system and it serves every neighborhood.

To invest in the future of MUNI, my proposed budget also includes significant investments in capital improvements; including nearly $26 million for new hybrid buses and light rail vehicles, and $5.9 million in street and pedestrian safety projects to move the City closer to its Vision Zero goal of eliminating all traffic fatalities by 2024.

We are also ensuring that MUNI is accessible with our free MUNI programs for seniors, people with disabilities and youth.

A City That Meets Affordability Challenge -- Together

And if we are going to talk about affordability, we MUST talk about housing. Housing that is affordable to low and middle-income families promotes diversity, equity, and economic vitality, cornerstones of a thriving City.

Every day, I work on this issue. Every day, I challenge my staff to do more – to work with the community to confront this challenge head on, with real solutions. San Francisco’s housing crisis demands our continued and aggressive action.

That’s why in 2012 we created the Housing Trust Fund – which over the next two years will invest $79 million in affordable housing development, neighborhood stabilization and more.

And we aren’t stopping there. We’ve been working hard at the State level to ensure that San Francisco has the ability to build the housing that was promised through the redevelopment agency on an accelerated timeline. As a result, we expect to be able to jumpstart 1,800 units of new affordable housing in the next five years – nearly 1,000 more units than we would have been able to do if we hadn’t gotten this legislative change.

We’re investing more money in eviction prevention – this year funding will grow to $6.4 million – to make sure our longtime residents can stay in their homes.

We also have to innovate around the delivery of affordable housing – we need to build more quickly, be able to acquire property more quickly, and engage partners more effectively.

And we also know we need more resources to build housing now. That’s why we are proposing a $250 million housing bond to speed up construction of housing for low and middle income families – without raising property taxes. This bond increases our investments in housing to stabilize existing neighborhoods and builds on our goal to build and rehabilitate 30,000 homes by 2020.

The 2015 Affordable Housing Bond is a crucial component of our $1.1 billion 5-year affordable housing response plan that will deliver more than 10,700 permanently affordable homes for low and middle income families.

We can’t do it alone, and that’s why we need a Housing Accelerator Fund to attract and secure private sector investment in affordable housing.

I know we can do this together – but we must continue to build housing affordable to people across the income spectrum in order to generate the revenues to build even more affordable housing. Over the next two years, new market rate development is anticipated to generate more than $100 million in affordable housing fees that can be put to work to secure sites and build housing throughout the City.

With the success of our City, we have a special opportunity to ensure the prosperity of our City extends to all our City’s residents.

I believe this is a balanced and responsible budget that not only safeguards vital City services and is affordable over the long term, but one that makes smart investments to keep our city safe, solvent and successful.

We will continue to invest in our diverse neighborhoods, in our infrastructure and most importantly, in our people so San Francisco can remain a City for everyone.

I want to thank my Chief of Staff, Steve Kawa, my budget office, led by Kate Howard, Ben Rosenfield our City Controller, and the Board of Supervisors Budget Analyst’s Office led by Harvey Rose. Thank you for your work on this budget.