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Black residents identify investment priorities for SFPD’s defunded budget

Mayor London Breed and District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton pledged in June to “defund” the San Francisco Police Department and to use that funding supporting community programs and organizations in the Black community. Monday, the San Francisco Human Rights Commission offered up a draft report suggesting ways that funding could be put to use.

While the report does not give specifics as to what programs would get funded or how much money would be diverted from the department, the report gives insight into priorities identified by surveyed residents and community groups.

The Human Rights Commission collected information based on surveys, focus groups and emails received from residents.

Some of the broad themes include further investment in workforce programs, tutoring for Black students and mental health services.

More than 600 participated in some shape or form, The Mayor’s Office said.

Breed said in a statement:

“Over the past month we initiated a process to hear directly from residents so we can begin the move for real, tangible changes in addressing the systemic issues facing our community. This is only the first step in a long process to bring resources and accountability to our community that has for decades been underserved, underrepresented, and ignored.”

The mayor plans to introduce her budget with additional details in coming days.

Walton said in a statement that in The City needs to make a “sizeable” investment in order to address the decades-long issues that have affected the local Black community.

He said:

“Having Black voices take the lead on the process for reinvestment in our community is key to developing strategies that lead to tangible outcomes. I’m excited to share what the Black community has identified as priorities, so that we as policy makers can make the resources available to achieve tangible results.”

In September, the Human Rights Commission plans to launch monthly community meetings to review the initiative’s progress. Quarterly public meetings will also begin in October. 

Sheryl Davis, the director of the HRC, said in a statement:

“It’s clear that Black people want and deserve better public service from their City and we have been falling short.”

The public can read the “Reinvestment of San Francisco Police Department Budget to Support the African American/Black Community” report online.

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