This year’s add-back budget has been put together by the Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance Committee.
The total allocated amount for projects in District 7, which includes Ingleside Terraces,Westwood Park and Sunnyside, is $810,000.
Projects in District 11, the district encompassing the Excelsior, Outer Mission and OMI, have been allocated $2,007,000, almost 150% more than District 7.
Every year, the Budget and Finance Committee cuts items from the mayor’s proposed budget, then “adds back” that money to a budget for specific projects usually conducted by nonprofits in the supervisorial districts. The total amount of reallocated money in this year’s add-back budget is $41,410,620.
District 11 also surpasses District 7 in the number of individual projects, with twenty funded in District 11 to District 7’s five. The result is a greater variation of projects in District 11, which range from senior services to urban farms, transitional-age foster youth assistance, beautification and more.
District 7’s projects, by contrast, fall into three categories: senior services, pedestrian safety and playground improvements. Granted, funding is more concentrated on these projects, but District 11 gets the bigger share of the add-back budget.
Furthermore, District 11 is part of four multi-district projects, totalling $1,662,000, though of those projects, $1.35M of that is slated to secure funding for CleanPowerSF, a program offering consumers sustainable power alternatives to PG&E.
CleanPowerSF was orignally allocated 19.5M. Mayor Ed Lee wanted to remove that funding from the budget entirely, according to Conor Johnston, a legislative aide to District 5 Supervisor London Breed. “Supervisor Avalos, with the support of Supervisor Breed (and Supervisor Eric Mar) reached a compromise with the Mayor to maintain funding” for CleanPowerSF, Johnston said.
“Add-back funding depends on how much you get in the original budget,” said Jen Low, legislative aide to District 7 Supervisor Norman Yee. “[District 11] did not get a lot during the actual budget this year and weren’t willing to relinquish” certain budget items.
Supervisor Yee’s office “plans on doing more participatory budgeting” with add-back funds, particularly with pedestrian safety improvements, said Matthias Mormino, aide to Supervisor Yee. Participatory budgeting is a voting process where district residents propose and vote on projects to receive funding in their districts, and Yee’s office recently orchaestrated the process to fund $350,000 in projects.
The general city budget issued by Mayor Ed Lee in June totalled $8.6 billion, so the $41-some million of the add-back budget may seem like a drop in the bucket.
When approaching the add-back process, “each supervisor puts together their list of asks,” said Beth Rubenstein, legislative aide to District 11 Supervisor John Avalos. “Some supervisors don’t have as many asks, and certain districts have higher need than others.”