Budget debate comes to a close / Bloomberg to help city with 'digital transformation'

It's Wednesday, June 30.

Hey there, San Francisco. 

It’s an early (and short!) newsletter for today. I’ll be out the rest of the afternoon doing some reporting for a story I’m excited to share with you all soon. But for now, let’s get to it. 

Onto some news… 


After some 30 hours of negotiations, Mayor Breed and the Board of Supervisors’ Budget Committee reached an agreement Tuesday night on the city’s upcoming, $13.2 billion spending plan. 

As the Chronicle’s Mallory Moench wrote

The budget includes an unprecedented investment in addressing homelessness — more than $1 billion over the next two years. It prioritizes support for economic recovery, rent relief and marginalized communities in the wake of the pandemic. It also focuses on public safety, balancing hiring police officers to keep up staffing levels with investing in policing alternatives to homelessness, mental illness and drug overdoses.

Interestingly, changes from the mayor’s original budget proposal from earlier this month include funding for more “24/7 public bathrooms, waiving first-year fees for new small businesses, and $32 million for rent relief,” Moench wrote. 

“We tried to do from the bottom of our hearts what was best for San Francisco,” Supervisor Ahsha Safaí told the Chronicle. “At the end of the day, this is a pretty historic budget.”

Once voted on by the full Board of Supervisors, the budget will reach Mayor Breed’s desk by August 1 for final approval. 


Of the budget issues debated between the mayor and the board, “arguably the most contentious,” the Chronicle reported, was around police funding.

In the end, the city will increase its police spend (mostly due to higher salaries, the Chronicle noted). But the amended budget will only allow for 135 new officers to be hired over the next two years, rather than 200, which the mayor had initially proposed.  

“We believe it reflects our collective priorities and moving towards reimagining policing and pursuing alternatives while also maintaining important foot patrols and community policing,” Supervisor Matt Haney said.


Quick bits: 

  • 🎬 The San Francisco Film Commission hopes it can attract more video productions to the city. “We’re still down a little bit in shoots and shoot days [compared to 2019],” commission lead Susannah Robbin told Here/Say Media. “But we were up 28% in permit fees…we’re gaining momentum.”

    Upcoming shoots include the Showtime series “Super Pumped,” which chronicles the early years of Uber and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as former CEO Travis Kalanick, and “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania,” a Marvel film featuring Paul Rudd. (Here/Say

  • 😔 San Francisco ranked fourth highest in accidental overdose death rates among major US cities and counties in 2019, which is the most recent year with comparable data, the Chronicle said. In California, San Francisco had the highest overdose rate in 2019 for any county in the state at 43 deaths per 100,000 people. (Chronicle

  • 💻 Bloomberg Philanthropies selected San Francisco as one of six global cities it will partner with to help accelerate “digital transformation” within local governments. According to the press release, “The three-year grants, which will fund innovation teams, or ‘i-teams,’ will help mayors in each city leverage data and digital technologies to enhance public services and create new value for communities.”

    The mayor’s office didn’t immediately respond to our request for more details on intended focus areas for the “i-teams.” (Twitter, London Breed


And finally… 

I saw this video on Instagram today and it made me smile. Hopefully, it brightens your day a bit as well! 


That’s all for today! Thanks as always for reading and we’ll see you back here tomorrow! - Nick B.

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