On April 30th, Empower San Diego joined San Diego residents, non-profit organizations and neighborhood groups for an informative Budget Teach-In hosted by the Community Budget Alliance (CBA). The Proposed Budget for the 2013 Fiscal Year is an over 200 page document containing unfamiliar fiscal terms and vague allocation descriptions making it difficult to understand. At the Teach-In, CBA members offered explanations to budget terms like CIP, discussed the inequity in neighborhood investment and described the budget timeline.
Those in attendance were passionate about being apart of the budget making process. We asked three attendees what brought them to the Teach-In and what issues they felt should be allocated more budget money. Here is what they had to say:
“Well I’m a resident of the fourth district and there’s a lot of negative press about the fourth district. But as a resident, I see a lot of positive going on and I was hoping I could find out how much of the budget could be used to enhance the positive--to start accentuating the positive. In my neighborhood, there are people that get up and go to work for forty hours a week then come home to take care of their families. They even have second jobs. I have friends that are entrepreneurs and solopreneurs who have garage businesses and run ebay stores out of their homes and they’re doing great. They take care of their households and mow their lawns and they’re not creating problems at all. I came [to the Budget Teach-In], one to find out how much that’s being talked about, how much funding they allotted to the fourth district and to have my voice be heard”
"I attended the Budget Teach-In to gain a better understanding of
how money is allocated to various capital improvement projects within each district of San Diego. I am concerned that affluent neighborhoods are allocated a greater percentage of funds for capital improvement. I think public libraries are a vital educational resource in San Diego. Branches should not be closed on Sundays and Mondays. We should make it a priority to keep neighborhood libraries open every day for the growth of our community. We should also invest in renovating branches to make them a desirable learning environment while expanding electronic resources to move in the direction of the future."
"I attended the meeting because the budget and how it is decided and funds distributed are of interest to me. I would like to see more community input and I would especially like to see more equality in fund allocation."
To make your voice heard, join Empower, CBA and concerned San Diegans at the Evening Budget Hearing on May 14th, 6PM at the City Chambers! This is the final hearing of the year and last chance for public input before the budget goes through finalization processes. Hope to see you there!
by Ilo Neukam and Lara McCaffrey, EMPOWERStudents!