Mayor Steinberg unveils $36-million-plan to address homelessness and $2 million to build facilities for youth
Mayor Darrell Steinberg Tuesday released a $36-million plan to fund the City’s effort to reduce homelessness over the next two years and a $2.1 million investment in catalytic projects for youth in Sacramento’s underserved neighborhoods.
The Mayor made his recommendations to the City Council, meeting as the Budget & Audit Committee, as his proposal for spending items to include in the City’s mid-year budget. The mid-year budget includes expenditures deemed too urgent to wait until the new fiscal year begins July 1.
Mayor Steinberg noted that the City currently has about $35.1 million in non-allocated revenue at its disposal, including carry-over funds from the existing Measure U.
“It is vital at this moment to intensity our focus in two key areas….One is homelessness and one is early wins for youth,” Mayor Steinberg said.
A vote on his proposal is expected on Feb. 5. The Council, acting as the Budget committee, voted unanimously Tuesday to move the plan along to the Council for consideration.
Following is the Mayor’s budget proposal, as submitted to the City Council on Tuesday:
The purpose of this memo is to recommend that the City Council direct the City Manager to allocate funding to the following budget priorities outlined in this memo. I. INTRODUCTION
As I embark on my third year as your Mayor, it is remarkable to think of the progress we have made together as a City over the last two years. I would like to sincerely thank all of my City Council colleagues and our City Manager Howard Chan for helping foster a new spirit of collaboration and partnership in City Hall as we attempt to solve some of Sacramento’s most pressing challenges together. I strongly believe that in our first two years together we have laid a solid foundation on every key challenge and opportunity facing our changing City.
2019 must be the year we shift from foundations to breakthroughs. This is the year we will we will finally kickstart our Downtown Railyards, invest in transformative projects on our waterfront, dramatically increase our shelter capacity for our homeless population, and we will begin fulfilling the promise of Measure U’s commitment to make real change for neighborhoods and our youth.
II. OUR CITY’S BUDGET PRIORITIES
With the passage of Measure U last November, our City sits firmly on sound financial footing. Even before our next budget cycle begins, this year we as a City Council have the unique opportunity to have approximately $35M of resources at Midyear. This unique opportunity precedes our longer-term investment decisions we have to make in the upcoming annual fiscal year budget. Even after investing these one-time resources, we will still maintain an Economic Uncertainty Reserve of over 10%.
I have worked closely with the City Manager over the past few weeks on how best to maximize the impact of these one-time resources at Midyear.
I am aware of many additional Council priorities not included within this budget memorandum. However, I pledge to work with all of you beginning on February 6 to address and fund as many of these priorities as we possibly can.
With that said, I recommend that we invest Midyear resources in the following three categories:
i. Improving Essential Core City Services- Our City Manager and his excellent team have proposed a list of worthy recommendations that will enhance an array of essential core city services. These services are critical to the public and the City Council such as making significant investments in both our Police and Fire Departments, improving our 3-1-1 response times, bolstering our code enforcement staffing, and expanding our illegal dumping services. The City Manager’s recommendations include other important items that we should all support such as the FUEL Network contract and funding for Transitional Housing for Single Women and Families with Children. The vast majority of this category represent key City Council priorities. (This is an $11.2M expenditure proposed by our City Manager in the Midyear Report.)
ii. Addressing Our Homelessness Crisis- For the first time, we now have the City resources available to dramatically increase our shelter capacity and tackle our homelessness crisis in a real way. In the coming months we must implement major pieces of our collective 8 x 100 strategy, led directly by each City Councilmember in your districts.
I want to assure that each of you have all the tools needed to be successful, most importantly, the resources available for one-time capital expenditures and ongoing operational funding to successfully site and open new shelters.
To that end, I propose we set-aside $16M of one-time resources into our Homeless Housing Multi-Year Operating Project (MYOP) as part of a two-year plan to shelter 2,400 homeless people per year.
I will propose at our upcoming Council workshop session on February 12 that we approve a two-year budget plan of $36M for additional shelter and related services. The $36M will include the $16M of City funding mentioned above, a conservative estimate of $12M of current and anticipated state dollars, and $8M of private sector funding. I have raised over $6M of private funding thus far and $2M remains unspent.
Though the $36M represents only a two-year expenditure plan, it will allow us to get through the next two fiscal years without making any significant General Fund or Measure U expenditures for homeless services.
The February 12 workshop will describe in detail the scope and specific plan underlying the proposed $36M investment to significantly reduce homelessness in our City. (This is a $16M one-time set-aside of existing Measure U funds into the Homeless Housing MYOP that will be significantly leveraged with existing and new state and private resources.)
iii. Early Investments In Our Youth- We do not have to wait; in fact, we must not wait until the fiscal year to demonstrate clearly that we meant what we told the voters when we campaigned to pass Measure U together last November.
I recommend that we begin moving forward with $8M of one-time money to show the neighborhoods the potential of their transformative decision last November.
Let us make key investments now that have near-term positive impact in our youth and for our neighborhoods.
I recommend we use these available resources to fund items that are directly aligned with youth programming and investment, neighborhood inclusive economic development, and projects with clear Citywide impact.
I propose that we approve the first $2.1M on February 5 for the following shovel-ready projects:
Youth Pop-Ups Partnership: City programming for Friday and Saturday night youth activities (“pop-ups”). With the partnership of Comcast and Sierra Health Foundation, our investment would ensure at least ten youth activity sites every Friday night between February 8 and June 30, before we consider funding even more the next fiscal year. The public-private total amount of $650K for the next five months would potentially fund some Saturday evenings as well. The investment of $350K of City funding would help serve thousands of Sacramento’s youth.
South Sacramento Cal Skate Facility: South Sacramento Christian Center has 29 years of experience serving the Sacramento community with a targeted focus on South Sacramento. In 2016, SSCC purchased the Cal Skate facility, with the goal of revitalizing the historic yet dilapidated building into an inviting and empowering space that would contribute to the healthy social and economic development of the community. For two years, the Simmons Community Center operated the skate rink in a limited capacity and offered a range of programs and activities in the existing space, including the Black Child Legacy Campaign, gang violence prevention and intervention work, youth mentorship programs, youth basketball camps, health and fitness programs, job training and placement, Saturday family hip hop classes, parenting classes, and a host of events such as family fun nights and skate nights.
$350K of City funding would leverage significant private donations by paying for the remaining cost of renovating the facility. Once re-opened, the Simmons Community Center will be able to generate income as a skating rink and basketball arena and employ youth and young adults as skate attendants, referees, snack bar staff, recreational assistants, and custodial staff. Revenue generated would be used to expand the Center’s many social service programs and youth development activities.
La Familia Economic Development Opportunity Center: The La Familia Counseling Center (LFCC), a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for at-risk youth and families through services that help families become empowered and succeed in their lives. La Familia is in the process of building an Economic Development Opportunity Center. The Opportunity Center will include employment training and educational programs, shared workspaces, and other programs that attract investment, create jobs and foster economic resiliency and prosperity for this community. These programs, projects, and activities are aligned with the Franklin Boulevard Business District and the Franklin Boulevard Community Development Corporation mission to serve the public.
$350K of City funding would be used to complete architectural drawings; land survey and necessary city permits. In addition, La Familia would be able to initiate a selection process to identify a development and construction team.
Del Paso Heights Sports Complex: The Del Paso Heights project is a partnership between the residents of Del Paso Heights, the City of Sacramento, and the Mutual Assistance Network (MAN). Building on under-utilized and undeveloped land surrounding the Robertson Community Center, the project proposes three baseball fields and soccer fields that would host local youth leagues and regional tournaments. The long-term cost of operation, maintenance, local hires and running the Robertson Community Center would be covered by annual revenue the tournaments would produce.
The project has designs for phase one, which is the non-usable existing field at Robertson. Designs for phase two, which is two new fields on undeveloped land, are in development. A cost estimate and land survey for both phases has been completed. In addition, the project has been fully vetted through the residents of Del Paso Heights and is seen as an important step to rebuilding a once vibrant community.
$350K of City funding would allow for completion of architectural drawings for phase two, required city permits, selection of construction contractors, and for ground-breaking of phase one.
Community Capacity Building: $350K of City funding for neighborhood capacity building by a qualified community-based organization with the background and expertise to lead on Measure U community outreach. This organization would serve as a convener and would help our City (including our Measure U Advisory and Investment Committee’s) be better connected to our many diverse neighborhoods. A special focus would be placed on building non-profit capacity and the implementation of a strategic plan to better leverage and utilize neighborhood facilities.
Business Capacity Building: $350K of City funding for business capacity building by a qualified organization with the background and expertise to lead on Measure U outreach to the business community. This organization would serve as a convener and will help our City (including our Measure U Advisory and Investment Committee’s) be better connected to our diverse business community. A special focus would be placed on minority and women owned businesses, as well as urban commercial corridors.
All of these projects would be funded by existing carry over from the previous budget fiscal year (not new Measure U).
We can and should show the community well before the start of the fiscal year that we intend to make inclusive economic development and youth a signature Measure U priority.
Our City is currently in the process of appointing a “Measure U Community Advisory Committee” and an “Inclusive Economic and Community Development Investment Committee” that will have a significant role in selecting future projects and programs that will receive funding.
I recommend we roll over the remaining $5.9M from the overall $8M into the upcoming fiscal year budget; but that we begin that budgetary process for those expenditures on February 6. These future investments will go through the Measure U Community Advisory Committee process. (This is a $2.1M one-time expenditure and the identification of approximately $5.9M for the upcoming fiscal year budget.)
It is an exciting time to be a Sacramentan. Our City has a lot of momentum and we truly are an emerging City on the national radar. The funding requests outlined in this memo will allow us to continue our upward trajectory and build on the foundation we’ve put together over the last two years. In partnership with you, I remain confident that 2019 will be the year of breakthroughs for our City.
I’m very hopeful that our City’s best days still lay ahead, and I look forward to our work together throughout the upcoming budget cycle.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Mayor, City of Sacramento