tv [untitled] June 29, 2011 8:00am-8:30am PDT
hoeing this board meeting. i wanted to specifically thank supervisor chu and phil ginsburg, other elected officials who have done so much in these overwhelming times to support families and children. your efforts are making a difference despite all of the crisis. i wanted to let you know specifically that the work that you've done has revitalized programs. i know it's also making an impact at the library, at joe dimaggio park, and i wanted to also let you know that you're not only helping families to get access to vital services, but you're also -- those public faces, when you invest in schools and parks and libraries, you're also investing in community meeting places. it's through those places that we can get to connect with each other as neighbors, and also connect with our city.
and because of that work we now have more volunteers and more parents interested in giving back to their parks and back to their libraries. i just wanted to say thank you very much. and i want you to continue working and we will continue to respond to your investment in us by working as communities to support -- support our neighbors. thank you very much. >> thank you. al thank you fothank you for mat the community of folks that we all represent get served. thank you. next speaker. >> thank you, guy, for coming. my name is ken. i'm an organizer for a chinese organization. in the community that we work in, the service cuts are hurting working families the most.
unemployment is 30% in the chinese community alone, and also our -- the low-income communities rely on some of the essential services that are being cut, such as healthcare, and they're also not able to find a job, because the job is just not out there. so the budget cuts are no longer -- the deficit is no longer like a spending issue. i think it's really a revenue issue. so i want to -- i wanted to hear what kind of resolutions you're looking at such as closing loopholes, stopping corporate tax breaks. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> thank you very much for being here. i'm specifically with the china
living library, where we're literally working with hundreds, probably thousands, over the past few years, of children and youth in chinatown to breen to n chinatown. if our add-back is cut in chinatown, for example, we will be completely unable to do any programming here. we work year-round with literally hundreds of children, have planted trees and gardens, dug up as fought and concrete. not only are we creating a cost effective program for -- and delivering it, a very powerful educational program for children and youth, but we're also improving the neighborhood of chinatown. it's also a very modest budget. so i urge you to put money back in to the add-back, however
you're going to do it, so we can continue. i urge also you to support the other youth programs, because it's absolutely needed. it's our past, present, and certainly our future. thank you. >> thank you very much. next speaker. >> i just want say hello to my san francisco chinese family. i want to say i have a lot of respect for the chinese community in chinatown, because i feel it's a beacon of where the communities in san francisco need to go to become communities that are self sufficient, that uphold heritage and culture, attracts revenue to the city. i want to say chinatown is like the fillmore, like the mission, these places in the city that make up the city.
that's pretty much all i have to say. god bless you all. >> thank you. we're going to answer a few of the questions before andy gets up. the gentleman from c.p.a. in terms of the revenue ideas, there's a debate as to what's progressive revenue, what's not. but anyway, having said that, we have been studying ways in which we could potentially raise revenue in the city, ways with which we can reach agreement with the board of supervisors and potentially the public. what's been the most challenging is that most of the ideas that we've had so far will require a two-thirds vote of the members of the public. and in doing that, there is very slim chances for a lot of the ideas to go forward when you acquire those two-thirds vote, because that's what the state law requires at this time. having said that, too, we have idea that might be on the border
of progressive. the governor has proposed they pass taxes at the state level to extend, but there seems to be a viewpoint that perhaps he may not have the votes in the state legislature to pass those taxes. in that case we're prepared to consider passing a tax here locally that would bridge the gap that the state would not be able to do. that would be coming toward our general fund, if we're able and permitted to do that. we're looking at the condo conversion fee with a renewed effort because of the number of years that people have been waiting in a line for a conversion at the same time in those negotiations with members of the community, including
affordable housing advocates. they have conditions upon which the city is seriously considering adopting as a way forward to potentially have some additional revenues based upon conversions that have been in line for a number of years. those are the ideas. we have others that we have considered, but they're going to be more difficult to deal with because of the required two-thirds vote that are conditions that the state impossesses on us -- imposes on us. >> thank you. the reason seniors come to every town hall meeting is because san francisco is aging. the census report, the over 60-plus population in san francisco will double in less than continue years by 2020. the 85-plus, which has a 50% of
being alzheimer's is growing even faster. so to put in money, to protect infrastructure for the aging population, it's really money well spent, because in a few years if we do not have the infrastructure, our city will be spending a lot more money in the acute setting, hospital setting, and nursing homes, which don't have any beds right now for medi-cal and low-income seniors. thank you, mayor, for restoring our nutrition program. thank you for not sending our seniors to bed with empty stomachs. but now i'm going to speak on behalf of our 50 job seekers who come to our one-stop workforce link, just a block from here. president chu, since you captain cashman imto our grand opening in march, over 1,000, mostly monolingual and very low-income immigrants have been coming into the one-stop seeking jobs and seeking job readiness services, like resume writing, computer
skills, and also just looking for jobs, any kind of jobs. so please make sure that our low-income population could continue to get these job training and employment services. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. i also want to thank all of the folks here, here with self-help in advocating for seniors. i particularly want to thank the mayor for his decision to protect our nutrition programs. this is something that i think we all believe is incredibly important at a time when we've seen massive federal and state locally and stand up in the city of saint francis for our citizens and our families. thank you. next speaker. >> good afternoon, mayor lee, board of supervisors president david chu and department leaders. i work in the mental health services sector, which provides
cultural competent health services to the most vulnerable. our clients are of extremely limited resources, monolingual, non-english speaking, and in need of supportive services. we know we're in a budget crisis, though community agencies have already absorbed many cuts during the past year, already below critical levels. it's a good 97 of city dollars and a good investment -- the city's investment in community agencies leverages dollars deliver more services equaling cost efficiency. one out of four adults, that's 25% of our adult community, experiences a mental health condition in a year. that's over $100 billion in the u.s. let san francisco not be part of the statistic. preserve our safety net and prioritize our most vulnerable
san franciscans. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker. >> my name is rose snead. i'm with the agency that angela just spoke about. so today i wanted to talk with you about mental health consultation services. we go into childcare programs in the city, and we provide support to teachers, families, and children are very vulnerable, because they experience stressors that a lot of people have talked about this the audience today. and i'm just asking for your continued support of our work. in the past, there's been a lot done to support young children's mental health. so i'm hoping that there are plans in the future for more support, because we do hope to
strengthen families in our own way, in the cycle of poverty, and make sure that children are actually doing really well and thrive nothing san francisco. so i'm just asking for your continued support. if you do have information that you can share about future plans for supporting young children and childcare workers also, i'd really like to hear about that. so thank you. >> thank you. i'm greg sass, the chief finance officer for the health department. as far as the -- you know, the cuts we're looking at in the health department, we have made no cuts to children's services at all. i mean, that's been a priority that we've -- we've set that aside, and we're really committed to maintaining those services. i think in response to the previous speaker, too, in terms of the whole discussion around mental health services, ainge
question that comes often to us why is it that each budget year many cuts seem to be in the behavioral area, mental health and substance abuse. the reason, it's largely a financial reason. most of our general fund is in our hospitals and in our physical health areas. and that general fund is used as local match to draw down federal revenue. and so what happens when you make reductions in our hospitals, or in other parts of the health department, you make a $1 cut there, but you only get different cents reduction. it's very difficult for us to focus on those areas. as it happens, and it's probably pretty well understood, in the behavioral health area, a large part of the fund nothing that
area comes from city general fund, and there's very little federal support, state support for those programs. as a consequence, while it's painful and difficult, it's also an area where we can meet our targets with a smaller cut we can in other areas. that drives a lot of the decision process as we go through the budget process, but we're working closely with all of our community providers to try to minimize the impact of those cuts across the board. we plan -- if it turns out that some cuts are necessary at end of the budget process, if that happens, we expect to be continuing to work very closely with our community organizations to try to minimize the impact of those cut, find ways to get the same apt of work done, the same services provided with a minimal impact on the clients that we serve. thanks. >> once again, maria su. i just wanted to make sure that
everyone knows we have not proposed to cut or eliminate any mental health services, particularly the mental health consultation contract. so that's one. i know there were comments earlier around funding for family resource centers. we have not proposed reductions in funding for family resource centers as well. i think there are concerns in terms of the state funding, the state portion of funding for the family resource centers. for the 0-5 service areas under first 5 san francisco. for dcyf, we are not proposing any reductions to those two areas. >> thank you. why don't we hear from our final two speakers. >> i'm a member of the immigrants rights commission,
and also a senior who participates in will meal sites. so in various parts of the city, including this one. i want to tell you how much we appreciate the restoration of the senior nutrition programs. i've had to advocate for this for two years. i thought they cut the same thing this year, are we going to go through this again? i'm so pleased that it's been restored, the nutrition cuts have been restored. the person who decided that seniors should have weekend meals was george moscone. when he was mayor, he expanded the nutrition programs to cover the meal sites. so i'm glad we will have a mayor who will be remembered for restoring the senior meals on weekends again. thank you. >> hello. i'm with wee children standards,
focused on childcare and family support. i want to thank youz out to the community, really hearing from the community, particularly with a lot of immigrant and non-english speakerrers. i think that really enjoys us. so i first want to thank you for that. i want to underscore the importance of childcare in terms of -- early will childhood development for young families who need childcare in order to work, go to school, get job training, also the importance of childcare for, you know, protecting and developing young children. and also the importance of childcare for employers, you know, who rely on a stable working workforce. i just wanted to thank in particular the h.f.a., dcyf, and others, for preserving some of the childcare dollars, making
tough decisions around the budget. i wanted to thank you for that. i know you acknowledge the importance of childcare for a thriving economy in san francisco. i just wanted to say thanks. >> thank you. thank you for all the work you're doing. let me ask, are there any other members of the public that wish to speak? okay. if you could please step up to the microphone. if there's anyone else that wishes to make public comment, please make your way to the microphone. [speaking foreign language]
>> i know that home care workers average making monthly around $900. we see our hours cut in the beginning of the years. we also facing potential wage reduction. and also, we are a group of low-income immigrants, and i think it's important to get the support for not increasing our healthcare premium. this is our request. thank you.
>> again, i'm phil arnold, the finance director for the human services agency, the in-home supportive services is one of the programs that we offer under the department of aging and adult services. we have not proposed, nor do we intend to propose, any reduction in wages for the home care providers in home supportive services. there's something like 16,000 providers citywide. they are very low-income. they only affect -- there's been statewide efforts to reduce their hours, but not local efforts to reduce hours. the only impact that is in our budget that would affect those home care providers is a change in the premium for their healthcare. they purple pa currently pay $3h for healthcare services, and there's a proposal in our budget that that $3 a month be increased to $10 a month, but still way below the market rate
>> thank you for listening to our concerns today. we need to balance the budget. i know that it's hard to please everyone. we need to find ways to balance the budget, but we should not be spending money that we do not have currently right now. thank you. >> thank you very much. and i will just note, it is now 5:00. we did say this forum would be two hours. miraculously we ended right at 5:00. i want to thank our department heads and public service for all the work that you've done. all of us are committed to ensure that we have a budget that not only provides basic city services that we've come to expect, but make sure that we take care of our most vulnerable, whether it be at risk youth, our seniors, our disabled, whether it be our working families, folks out of work. i know that's something that every public servant here is committed to. thank you too being here.