May 17, 2021

Proposed County budget makes progress, but we need to fight for more!

On May 6, the County Chief Administrative Officer released the proposed $7 billion San Diego County 2021-22 Fiscal Year Budget. It contains some great proposals that would relieve our staffing crisis, provide better services for our community and invest in an equitable recovery from the pandemic.

However, our work is only beginning! Here is how you can take action to ensure we win an equity-focused budget

Some highlights from the proposed budget

  • Detention Health Care Staff: Increase of 141 new staff for current year, 196 during two-year period
  • Self-Sufficiency Services: Increase of 100 new staff
  • Behavioral Health Services: Increase of 56 new staff
  • San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital (SDCPH): Increase of 23 new staff
  • Adult Protective Services: Increase of 21 new staff
  • In-Home Support Services (IHSS) program: Increase of 21 new staff
  • CWS: Increase of 35 new staff
  • Public Works: Net increase of 20 new staff
  • District Attorney: Increase of 5 SEIU-represented staff
  • There’s more: Estimated increase of 30 SEIU-represented staff countywide

The proposed budget also includes a commitment to equity and racial justice by including funding for the following initiatives

  • Establishing an office of Labor Standards to protect workers from bad employers
  • Establishing free phone calls in detention centers
  • Establishing an office of Immigrant Affairs
  • Youth Corps Program supporting job opportunities for the next generation
  • Increasing access to County services by funding for translation and interpretation services across County departments

We are still reviewing the 700-page proposed budget document, so some of these numbers are estimates, which we will update as we get more information. These investments will ensure the most vulnerable have greater access to programs and care, but we must advocate for more equity investments before the final budget is adopted on June 29. Then sign up to participate in Budget Equity Action Month events.

We need a budget that reflects our values, with an investment in equity, racial justice and recovery from the pandemic. We must organize now to make sure the County respects us, protects us and pays us.

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