Once again Mayor Ed Lee and San Francisco supervisors are holding town-hall style meetings to discuss the city’s fiscal year 2013 budget.
There will be six district-based budget town halls this year beginning this weekend and running through mid-May. Shortly after being appointed mayor in 2011 Lee announced he would seek the public’s input on budget priorities, and he conducted such meetings last year after winning a full term in Room 200 at City Hall.
Gay Supervisors David Campos (District 9) and Scott Wiener (District 8) are co-hosting a meeting for their constituents with the mayor from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 4 at Cesar Chavez Elementary School, 825 Shotwell Street at 22nd Street in the Mission District. (For the full list of meetings, visit here.)
LGBT activists protested during the District 8 budget town hall held in 2011 due to the closure of a queer youth program at the Eureka Valley Recreation Center.
Last year’s meeting for D8 and D9 residents brought out speakers from a number of AIDS agencies concerned about federal budget cuts. The city agreed to backfill nearly $7 million toward HIV prevention programs and AIDS care services.
This year’s forum is likely to also bring out speakers concerned about the city’s AIDS programs as San Francisco is once again facing a cut in its federal HIV funding. City officials had initially estimated that the hit would be $4 million, though due to the sequestration cuts Congress failed to stop, that amount rose to $5.3 million, as announced during a special March budget hearing about the AIDS funding.
The mayor’s office has yet to commit to backfill all of the cut this year, though supervisors are hopeful the funding can be secured. Last year Lee announced his commitment to using local resources to pay for the AIDS programs about a month after the joint D8 and D9 budget town hall.
In the release his office sent out today announcing the budget town halls, Lee stated that he wants to hear directly from residents what their top budget priorities are this year.
“We must craft a balanced budget that keeps our City on a steady course of continued fiscal stability, stimulate the local economy, create good jobs, invest in key capital and infrastructure improvements, as well as address long term challenges identified in the proposed Five Year Financial Plan and ensure that San Franciscans can access City services they need,” stated Lee.
A final budget is due prior to the start of the new fiscal year, which begins on July 1.