Community Budget Alliance Presentation to Council at the Evening Budget Hearing


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5/22/13 - The Community Budget Alliance presented a PowerPoint to the San Diego City Council with regards to the FY 2014 Proposed Budget. For more info on CBA please visit:

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  • Coalition of diverse organizations that came together in early 2012 to advocate for a fair and equitable budget for the City of San Diego. Investment in the services and infrastructure our communities need is vital to the well-being of residents. Their value should be calculated through the impact on quality of life in our neighborhoods because of the implications for the health, educational and economic outcomes for community members in the near and long term.CBA is now 40 organizations strong.
  • It is important to have a budget based on values to ensure that the budget accurately reflects and prioritizes community needs. CBA Values: Equity/fairness, transparency, accountability, functionality and increased community input.
  • Created and shared a list of recommendations for the CIP and overall City budget for the FY13 and FY14 budgets. Also compiled and shared a list of needed CIP projects last November for the FY13 budget. These are included in the packets being circulated to you. Seeing some progress but will still be working with the Mayor, Councilmembers, Council Committees, and City staff to continue improvements.
  • CBA’s recommendations on the citywide budget included three centered on community outreach: Develop mechanisms to obtain community input early in the budget process. While this is emerging for CIP, it also needs to occur for services. Hold evening meetings for departmental budget presentations that are of particular interest to the community. (CBA is willing to partner with the city in both of these areas to help outreach to communities.)Present council budget priorities and Mayor’s proposed budget in all 9 districts prior to May hearings, with appropriate Councilmembers and departmental directors in attendance. Engage communities by allowing a dialogue with residents, Mayor, councilmembers and staff; and empower communities by allowing them to be part of the process and not an after revision conversation. Consistently using this model will definitely elevate the quality of outcomes for everyone involved in the process.Community residents want to be involved in the budget process. The City needs to lower the barriers to participation by (1.) going out into the community,(2.) outside of “normal” working hours, so in the evenings and weekends, and (3.) with a process that doesn’t need a lot of background or expertise to participate, basically, that moves “community-speak” to the City rather than requiring residents to already know “City-speak”.Revisit of Committee AssignmentsMr. Council President when you revisit the committee assignments now that we have our newly elected and illustrious 4th District Councilwoman Ms. Myrtle Cole. And I must add, the first woman to be elected councilmember for District 4; we hope that you will consider assigning Ms. Cole to the Infrastructure Committee adding greater representation to communities south of 8 on that committee.
  • I will be also speaking to something most of us do nearly every day: walking. There are still some outstanding CIP and specifically the importance of maintenance to be an inherent part of the CIP implementation.Pleased with the fact that several of the identified CIP are in this budget. Very exciting. The needs identified by the community have a pattern – they reflect a need to be able to move around safely and to enjoy our communities and the communities of our friends and family. We are pleased that the council has been receptive to our needs but we'd like to see that support reflected in the budget too so our supporters can see that the time we spend here is not in vain. And outreach around CIP needs budgetary support too. As members of the San Diego community we shouldn't simply ignore an issue because it is not in front of us. We should ensure that all communities have the basic infrastructure installed and then maintained: sidewalks, street lights so we can see and move safely on foot The CIP outreach should be supported with funding to ensure the outreach and then implementation is succesfulCannot emphasize the importance of maintenance enough. One key project promised with an MOU nearly 30 years ago when the I-15 was built was access for bicycle riders from the Mid-City community to Mission Valley. The project is now at a standstill because neither the city nor Caltrans will sign on a maintenance agreement prior to construction.Inviting our communities to walk, bike on beautiful streetscapes and enjoy good street design to improve mobility as well as safety which will make our city even more beautiful and lovable. No one wants to live in an ugly and uninviting City Park space and park amenities is something we as a group will continue to advocate for with the Infrastructure Committee and Mayor to make sure they are included in the 5-year CIP budget and the FY15 budget.
  • This leads into comments on specific budget items:Conditions assessments (2m)CBA generally supports conditions assessments, especially for sidewalks. Asset management is good stewardship. However:Condition assessments need to capture missing and needed infrastructure, as well as the condition of what’s there now. Condition assessments are expensive. Many of our CIP projects have taken a long time because of studies or reprogramming of funds. Need to balance the funding between assessments and getting projects done. Shouldn’t be an either/or but an AND/ANDBus passes (1m)So much of what is important to community quality of life is being able to move around the neighborhood safely, especially for school or work. CBA supports the bus pass pilot program. It is a step in the right direction for our youth. Are supportive of long-term comprehensive visioning, coordination and planning that increases transparency, accountability, functionality. Need to provide the resources for this and also invest in continuing to improve the public process and structures around public outreach, education and participation.
  • Community Budget Alliance Presentation to Council at the Evening Budget Hearing

    1. 1.  Formed in early 2012 Understandable, open and fair budget for theCity of San Diego Services and infrastructure vital to well-being -measured by impact on quality of life. Currently, over 40 organizations participate
    2. 2.  Budgetary designs and decisions must bebased in values that accurately reflectcommunity needs and a shared vision betweenelected officials and community members. Values▪ Equity▪ Increased community input.▪ Transparency.▪ Accountability.▪ Functionality.
    3. 3.  February 2012 & 2013. Letter to the Mayor & Council outlining CBApriorities and values Specific recommendations for budget. Spring 2012 & 2013. Outreach to and participation of communityresidents in Council budget hearings Community education presentations and forums November 2012. List of priority CIP projects to CPC & Mayor & Staff
    4. 4.  ThreeCBA recommendations centered oncommunity outreach:▪ Develop mechanisms to obtain community input early in thebudget process.While this is emerging for CIP, it also needs tooccur for services.▪ Hold evening meetings for departmental budgetpresentations that are of particular interest to thecommunity.▪ Present council budget priorities and Mayor’s proposedbudget in all 9 districts prior to May hearings, withappropriate Councilmembers and departmental directors inattendance.
    5. 5.  November 2012. List of priority CIP projects to CPC & Mayor & Staff Many of the organizations at the table have beenadvocating for years for specific, much-needed projectsor services in their communities and have seen littleprogress. FY 2014 is a good start.There are still outstanding CIPprojects.The needs identified have a pattern –generally that of being able to move aroundcommunities safely and to enjoy them.
    6. 6.  Conditions assessments Bus passes Resources for long term planning,coordination and public participation