San Francisco mayor says $3.75M to be redirected from police budget over to black businesses

SAN FRNACISCO, CA – On May 5th, San Francisco Mayor London Breed announced plans to have $3.75 million pulled from the police and sheriff’s office budget so that those funds can be redirected to organizations that specifically aid the black community in San Francisco.

Mayor Breed recently released a statement pertaining to what has been coined as the “Dream Keeper Initiative”, which is an endeavor that seeks to fund “nonprofits that serve the black community.”

Reportedly, approximately $3.75 million is being pulled from the local law enforcement budget to redirect to this initiative.

The San Francisco mayor glowingly regarded the announced effort:

“Across this country, and in our city, we’ve seen how the black community’s economic growth and prosperity has historically been disrupted and marginalized. We have invested our resources in a way that lifts up and supports African American small business owners, entrepreneurs, and the entire community.”

According to a press release from the mayor’s office, the entire Dream Keeper Initiative was inspired by the killing of George Floyd: 

“In June 2020, following the killing of George Floyd, Mayor Breed and Supervisor Walton announced a plan to prioritize the redirection of resources from law enforcement to support the African-American community.

Following that plan, HRC led an extensive and collaborative process with the community to identify and prioritize funding needs and developed a report to guide the reinvestment.”

Apparently, the Office of Economic and Workforce Development has awarded funds to 17 organizations that are considered to be serving the broader black community in areas like enabling black-owned businesses, entrepreneurs, and general family services.

Acting Director of the Office of Economic and Workforce Development Anne Taupier made the following statement about the effort: 

“The Dream Keeper Initiative investment focuses on delivering resources to support Black and African American communities realize their dreams of starting and growing their business in San Francisco.”

Among the entities that have received awarded funds are the San Francisco African American Chamber of Commerce, San Francisco Housing Development Corporation, and the Children’s Council of San Francisco.

San Francisco Human Rights Commission executive director Sheryl Davis commented on the effort, saying:

“This funding represents an investment in the community and addressing the wealth and opportunity gaps created by years of biased policies and approaches.”

“There is tremendous talent and potential that has been stifled by our biased policies and strategies.”

Outside of business and general family services, some of the funding from the Dream Keeper Initiative will also help establish the likes of community hubs in certain neighborhoods such as Bayview-Hunters Point, Fillmore/Western Addition, Potrero Hill, and Visitacion Valley.

Harmeet K. Dhillon, of the Dhillon Law Group and the Republican National Lawyers Association, is among those quite critical of Mayor Breed’s announced effort – specifically critiquing why there’s a literal racial element to diverted funding:

“Hey London Breed — African Americans are a valued part of our city — making up under 6% of the population. Why the racial budgeting? What’s the rational basis?”

While it has been revealed that the general law enforcement budget has been dipped into to fund this effort, it is unclear as of this time what specific areas of the law enforcement budget were being impacted through this redirecting.

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Back in March, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report of another city working toward allocating funds for the black community. However, this Illinois city is flat-out calling the effort a reparations program. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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EVANSTON, IL – Back in November of 2019, the city of Evanston had become the first in the nation to approve what was coined as a “reparations” program for black residents within the city.

As of March 22nd, 2021, the city council has now approved where the first payments from the program will be allocated toward.

When the reparations effort was first announced back in November of 2019, it was noted that the city of Evanston would be gathering the funds via the 3% tax applied to marijuana sales.

At the time, the city had estimated that the “marijuana tax could generate $500,000 to $750,000 per year.”

The entirety of the fund itself is said to be capped at $10 million.

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, city officials have now determined where the first payments of the reparations will go toward: housing grants for black residents.

Reportedly $400,000 from the city’s Local Reparations Fund will go toward this housing grant program, where eligible individuals can receive up to $25,000 to apply toward down payments for homes, home repairs/renovations, mortgage principals, accrued interest or late penalties, and the ilk.

The criterion for attaining these housing grants is based on more than just whether someone is a black resident in Evanston, though.

As noted in the Chicago Tribune, applicability for this housing grant requires the following benchmarks:

“To qualify, an applicant must have ‘origins in any of the Black racial and ethnic groups of Africa,’ according to the memo. Applicants must also be a Black resident of Evanston between 1919-1969, or that person’s direct descendant.”

“Applicants also qualify if they experienced housing discrimination due to the city’s policies or practices after 1969.”

So, it appears that the city of Evanston is doing it’s best to confine applicability to bona fide residents of the city who could have been impacted during the period in America when there were actual housing discriminations toward black Americans.

Furthermore, the reparations funding – at the very least – is not a blanket tax garnishment of all Evanston residents, but is only getting funded through those who choose to purchase cannabis from authorized dispensaries in the city.

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Author: Gregory Hoyt


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