…because it is important to say “Yes.”
By Anna Daniels
Final Public Hearing on the Fy’14 Budget
Wednesday May 22, 2013 6PM- 9PM
202 C Street, City of San Diego Public Administration Building
12th floor City Council Chambers
Wednesday May 22 is the last day to provide public testimony about Mayor Filner’s budget before the San Diego City Council. This is the third and final public budget hearing. I’m going to give readers a few reasons why they should make an appearance. But first, I know what you are thinking.
Parking downtown is a nightmare. There is a game at Petco Park at 7 pm, which makes the parking situation even more nightmarish.
It can be scary to stand in front of the Serious People in Suits running our city government and make a cogent argument on an issue in under two minutes.
And of course, going to a budget hearing may be little more than a charade, a crumb thrown to the little people to assure them that their voices are heard, while the real machinery of power and decision making takes place in “quiet rooms” as presidential candidate Mitt Romney so discretely put it.
Then there is the problem that many people are not sure what exactly is in the budget.
I have thought all those things myself at some point or another and I am going to City Hall on Wednesday to be the One Minute Citizen. I will be there to support Mayor Filner’s budget. (I am also taking a bus to get there.)
These are just a few of the budget line items worth knowing about and supporting:
- Free bus passes for Mid-City Youth
- $100K for street lights in City Heights, Southcrest, Mount Hope and Mountain View
- Repairs to the Tubman-Chavez Community Center
- Portable restrooms in the Downtown area and the Portland Loos
- Operations and monitoring of the Seal Cam at the La Jolla Children’s Pool
- Full year of operations of the Veterans Homeless Shelter
- Sustain the Homeless Check-in Center
- Additional funds for tree-trimming
The past decade has been a tough one for San Diego residents. The Wall Street meltdown in 2008 was piled on top of the city’s long term structural deficits. In addition, there has been an effort to make government so small that it can be drowned in a bathtub. City Heights is one of a number of San Diego communities that was thrown out with the bath water.
Those of us who provided testimony at past budget hearings were there to say “no” to the budget presented by then Mayor Sanders. This year we have the opportunity to say “yes” to a budget. While it is not a perfect budget, it is a remarkable re-prioritization and re-allocation of funds from previous budgets. There is a great deal in it for the progressive community to support. Mayor Filner campaigned on addressing the needs of San Diego neighborhoods. His first budget reflects that commitment.
Saying “yes” is as important as pushing back against budget cuts. If readers can’t make it to the hearing, please call or email the city council with your support of the mayor’s budget.