San Francisco Mayor London Breed released a plan Thursday to redistribute $120 million from the city’s law enforcement budget to projects aimed at helping the city’s black minority.
Bay Area public radio station KQED reported:
San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Thursday announced a plan for how the city will spend $120 million over the next two years, pulled from law enforcement budgets, to reinvest in the city’s long-underserved Black communities.
“The Dream Keeper Initiative,” as it’s dubbed, increases investments in workforce development, health campaigns, youth and cultural programs and housing support. The allocations reflect spending priorities conveyed by Black residents during a series of community meetings and public surveys led last year by the city’s Human Rights Commission, Breed said.
Black people make up only about 5% of San Francisco’s population — a proportion that has consistently decreased in the last 50 years — but make up nearly 40% of its homeless residents. Black residents have among the city’s highest mortality rates and lowest median household incomes, and are involved in a disproportionately high percentage of police use-of-force incidents.
Breed is the city’s first African-American mayor.
The city’s plan follows similar plans in Los Angeles, where Mayor Eric Garcetti promised last year to cut up to $150 million from the Los Angeles Police Department — more than 10% of the total — for investment in “communities of color.”
The move was a response to activists’ demands to “defund the police,” which accompanied the Black Lives Matter protests.
San Francisco is in the midst of a massive crime wave, with homicides rising 35% in 2020. The city has also become synonymous with petty crime and public nuisances, such as open drug use and defecation on the sidewalks, leading many residents to consider moving elsewhere.