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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Additional Funding for Homicide Prevention Services
City and County of San Francisco
Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required -- 50%+1
Fail: 66,982 / 49.24% Yes votes ...... 69,060 / 50.76% No votes
Index of all Measures
|Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Yes/No Meaning | Arguments | Full Text|
Shall the City allocate an additional $10 million primarily from the City's General Fund for each of the next three fiscal years for violence prevention and intervention services, establish a Homicide Prevention Planning Council to develop and annually revise a Homicide Prevention Plan, and create a Survivors' Advocate and a Survivors' Fund in the Office of the District Attorney?
Services are provided by departments such as the Department of Human Services and the Department of Children, Youth and their Families. The Police Department is responsible for protecting the public from criminal activity and ensuring public safety. The District Attorney is responsible for investigating and prosecuting violations of criminal law.
THE PROPOSAL: Proposition A is a Charter amendment that would budget an additional $10 million primarily from the City's General Fund for each of the next three fiscal years to fund violence prevention and intervention services to populations at high risk of violence, including people in the probation systems; families in neighborhoods with a high incidence of homicide; families living in public housing; and members of communities with high unemployment rates. These services would include, but would not be limited to, job creation and workforce training, public education, community building, conflict resolution and mediation, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, ex-offender and probation services, and family and witness relocation services.
Proposition A would also establish a Homicide Prevention Planning Council. Voting members of the Council would include eleven members of the public selected from communities affected by high homicide rates. Various City officials would serve as nonvoting members. The Council would develop and annually revise a Homicide Prevention Plan for submission to the Board of Supervisors.
Proposition A would also create a Survivors' Advocate in the Office of the District Attorney and a Survivors' Fund to assist survivors of homicide victims.
The amendment also requires that the City not reduce the amount that it is currently spending on violence prevention programs (the baseline) during the three-year period. Based on an initial review of programs, that amount is approximately $35 million. While many economic and social programs help prevent violence, this amount includes only those that have violence prevention as the primary purpose.
The amendment would also increase other City costs by an estimated $200,000 annually for planning and administration.
Finally, the amendment establishes a Survivors' Advocate and Survivors' Fund in the District Attorney's Office to assist with needs such as case tracking, burial expenses and counseling, however no budget amount is specified.
|Arguments For Proposition A||Arguments Against Proposition A|
|PLEASE VOTE YES ON PROPOSITION A.
Last year was one of the most devastating years of violence in San Francisco. As grieving parents and family members who have lost children and siblings to senseless killings, we know that it is absolutely vital for San Francisco to commit to neglected communities hit the hardest by homicides. Our young people and families need real opportunities and positive things to do with their lives. Our neighborhoods need resources to bring people together and give families vision and hope for the future.
Proposition A offers real hope to our bullet-ridden communities. It will establish an office to focus on survivors, a citizen's council to plan the City's response to homicides and a $10 million fund to enhance the community-based programs and services that have been proven to work. Prop A will provide jobs and training programs, community outreach services, reentry programs for people exiting the justice system, and relocation services for witnesses and family members. The fund would even assure that families do not have to wait weeks to bury a dead child nor sort through their trauma, grief and suffering alone and unaided. As parents and families members we feel such opportunities will save many young lives and lift our young people up from despair and encourage them to give back to their communities.
Most importantly, please Vote Yes on Proposition A to prevent future mothers from the heartache, stress, burden and constant pain that homicide survivors like us struggle with every day.
Mattie Scott, mother of a homicide victim
|Everyone agrees that we must stop the violence now. Our homicide rate has risen to unacceptable levels. This is no longer a neighborhood issue, but a City wide issue that we must all come together and address.
Unfortunately, Proposition A does not fulfill this goal. Proposition A locks in our current level of spending on "violence prevention" and adds an additional $10 million a year in the City's budget over the next three years on as yet to be determined new "violence prevention" programs. Any observer can see that our current spending practices are not working. Why would we want to lock into place for the next three years spending priorities and spending levels when they have clearly failed us? Moreover, this measure does nothing to address the lack of coordination between various City departments responsible for stemming this unacceptable tide of violence.
Before we tie ourselves down to specific spending levels, we should audit our current programs and determine which ones are working and which ones are not. From there, we can determine where our spending gaps are, determine what priorities need to be addressed, and then proceed through the annual budget process and appropriate the requisite amount of money.
Proposition A, while extremely well intentioned, mistakenly binds the hands of the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors, and prevents us from effectively responding to the needs of the City.
Please join Mayor Gavin Newsom, Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier and me and Vote No on Proposition A!
Supervisor Sean R. Elsbernd
That's why we need Proposition A.
PROTECT OUR INVESTMENT IN VIOLENCE PREVENTION Proposition A follows the best practice of the Children's Fund by enhancing the City's violence prevention efforts in the neighborhoods most impacted by violence. By protecting the City's existing commitment, Proposition A ensures that new violence prevention efforts aren't subverted by tricky budget maneuvering.
CITIZEN PLANNING AND ACCOUNTABILITY Proposition A empowers an 11 member Homicide Prevention Planning Council to create a realistic plan to address our homicide epidemic. This citizen council will direct new resources created by Proposition A and review existing violence prevention efforts to ensure the City's current investments are being made in the most effective way.
REAL GOVERNMENT, COMMUNITY COLLABORATION Proposition A demands better coordination across City Departments who are involved in violence prevention efforts. Department representatives will report to the Homicide Prevention Planning Council to facilitate communication, share information, and to strategize together to stop senseless violence in San Francisco.
FROM THE PEOPLE While we would love to take credit for Proposition A, this is a measure crafted by the people who've been affected the most. Mothers of murder victims have asked for this comprehensive response to homicides in San Francisco, and we owe them nothing less.
Supervisor Tom Ammiano
|Full Text of Proposition A|
|Describing and setting forth a proposal to the qualified voters of the City and County of San Francisco to amend the Charter of the City and County of San Francisco by adding Section 16.126 to: establish a San Francisco Homicide Prevention Plan and Homicide Prevention Planning Council; create a Survivors' Advocate and a City fund to help pay specified expenses for survivors of homicide victims; establish a Violence Prevention Fund and appropriate an additional $10 million per year for the next three years to fund violence prevention programs identified in the Plan; and, set an expiration date.
The Board of Supervisors hereby submits to the qualified voters of the City and County, at an election to be held on June 6, 2006, a proposal to amend the Charter of the City and County by adding Section 16.126 to read as follows:
Note: Additions are italic font.
SEC. 16.126. HOMICIDE PREVENTION PLAN, SURVIVOR ASSISTANCE AND VIOLENCE PREVENTION.
The City and County of San Francisco recognizes the high homicide rate as a symptom of economic disparities and social inequities and acknowledges and wishes to remedy the tremendous loss to families, friends and loved ones caused by homicide, attempted homicide and other violent crimes. The City and County of San Francisco also recognizes the need for violence prevention programs that are culturally competent in their design, effective in their implementation, and targeted to communities with limited access to opportunity and institutional power where violent crimes most often occurs. Accordingly, the City and County of San Francisco will take the following actions to create employment opportunities, invest in violence prevention programs, and assist survivors of homicide victims, their families, and their communities:
(a) Homicide Prevention Plan.
(1) Homicide Prevention Planning Council. There is hereby established a Homicide Prevention Planning Council.
(A) Public Members. The Planning Council shall include eleven voting members selected from the public and communities affected by the homicide epidemic, including youth, people of color, and members of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community. The Mayor shall appoint five public members to the Council and the Board of Supervisors shall appoint six members. Public members must be residents of San Francisco. Public members shall have five-year terms and shall serve at the pleasure of the appointing authorities, who shall fill any subsequent vacancies in the seats they originally appointed.
(B) City Official Members. The following officials, or their designees, shall serve as non-voting members of the Planning Council: the Mayor; the President of the Board of Supervisors or another Supervisor designated by the President of the Board; the City Attorney; the District Attorney; the Public Defender; the Sheriff; the President of the Police Commission; the Chief of Police; the Chief of Adult Probation; the President of the Juvenile Probation Commission; the Chief of Juvenile Probation; the Director of Public Health; the Director of Human Services; the Director of the Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families; the Director of the Department of Economic and Workforce Development; a representative from the Youth Commission; a representative from the Mayor's Office of Community Development; and a representative from the Mayor's Office of Criminal Justice. The Presiding Judge of the San Francisco Trial Court, the Superintendent of Schools of the San Francisco Unified School District, and the Executive Director of the San Francisco Housing Authority shall each be invited to send a representative to sit as an official member of the Council.
(2) Homicide Prevention Plan. By November 1, 2006, the Homicide Prevention Planning Council shall develop a draft Homicide Prevention Plan. Components shall include, but not be limited to: job creation and workforce training; public education efforts; community capacity building and community response; conflict resolution and mediation between disputing parties; substance abuse treatment; mental health services and family support programs; ex-offender and probation services; and family and witness relocation services. The plan shall be based on: data on homicides in San Francisco; an evaluation of existing efforts to investigate, prosecute and prevent homicides and attempted homicides; evaluation of witness protection programs; an assessment and evaluation of violence prevention and job creation programs targeted at those at highest risk; and, reports from individual City departments and agencies, as needed.
Public agencies shall not be required to disclose information to the Planning Council that would compromise investigations, investigative methods, or the safety of persons. The Plan shall also be based on input gathered from communities affected by the homicide epidemic. The Mayor's Office shall provide staffing and assistance to the Planning Council.
It shall be City policy to favor the delivery of services under the Plan through competent, culturally-relevant community-based organizations to the greatest degree possible where feasible and appropriate. The Plan shall include recommendations for evaluating the performance of such organizations and of public agencies funded under the Plan on an on-going basis and for holding such organizations and agencies accountable for the results they achieve.
(3) Public Hearings. By February 1, 2007, the Police Commission, Youth Commission, Health Commission, and Juvenile Probation Commission shall hold hearings on the draft Plan and offer recommendations. The Board of Supervisors shall consider those recommendations, and any other changes to the draft Plan that it deems appropriate, as part of its own review of the Plan.
(4) Adoption of Plan. By April 1, 2007, the Board of Supervisors shall adopt an ordinance establishing a final Homicide Prevention Plan for the 2007-2008 fiscal year. The activities outlined in the Plan and approved by the Mayor and Board of Supervisors shall be funded using existing resources and new resources as provided in this Section. As part of the Mayor's budget submission required by Article IX of this Charter, the Controller shall certify that funding has been provided for these activities, that the activities included in the Mayor's budget are eligible for funding from the Plan under subsection (d), and shall provide the amount per activity. The Mayor's budget must fund all the activities identified in the Plan, but the Mayor shall have discretion over the amount of funding proposed for each activity. The Board of Supervisors may adjust or increase this funding as part of the budget process, but may not reduce it.
(5) Annual Updates. The Plan shall be updated annually, following the process set out above, for the Fiscal Years 2008-2009 through 2009-2010. The Plan shall include a specific evaluation of the performance of public agencies and private organizations funded under the prior year's Plan.
(b) Survivors' Advocate; Survivors' Fund. There is hereby established a Survivors' Advocate in the Office of the District Attorney. The Advocate shall provide assistance to survivors of homicide victims, including referrals to appropriate agencies and departments, advocacy and information gathering, tracking of the progress of individual cases, and such additional assistance as determined by the Homicide Prevention Plan.
There is hereby established a Survivors' Fund to help defray the cost of expenses incurred by survivors, including but not limited to, burial and expenses, counseling for family, co-workers, schoolmates and friends, and other costs as may be specified in the Homicide Prevention Plan. The Survivors' Fund may include contributions from private individuals and organizations as well as public funds, and shall be audited regularly by the Controller.
(c) Violence Prevention Fund. Pursuant to the Homicide Prevention Plan, the City Budget for Fiscal Years 2007-2008 through 2009-2010 shall include an additional $10 million per year, beyond amounts appropriated for such purposes in the City Budget for Fiscal Year 2004-2005, to be expended solely for violence prevention programs.
(d) Eligible Services. Programs and services funded from the Violence Prevention Fund shall target populations at high risk of violence, including: youth and adults in the juvenile and adult probation systems; low income families in neighborhoods with a high incidence of homicide and attempted homicide; families living in public housing; and members of communities with high unemployment rates. The Violence Prevention Fund shall be used to provide violence prevention and intervention services, including, but not limited to, job creation and workforce training, public education, community capacity building and community response, conflict resolution and mediation between disputing parties, substance abuse treatment, mental health services, ex-offender and probation services, and family and witness relocation services.
(e) Excluded Services. Notwithstanding their possible consideration or inclusion as part of the Homicide Prevention Plan under subsection (a)(2), the following categories of expenditures shall not be funded from the Violence Prevention Fund:
(1) Services provided by the Police Department or the Fire Department, or detention or probation services mandated by state or federal law;
(2) Any service for which a fixed or minimum level of expenditure is mandated by state or federal law, to the extent of the fixed or minimum level of expenditure;
(3) Acquisition of any capital item not for primary and direct use for violence prevention efforts;
(4) Acquisition (other than by lease for a term of ten years or less) of any real property; or
(5) Maintenance, utilities or any similar operating costs of any facility not used primarily for violence prevention efforts.
(f) Baseline. The additional $10 million appropriated to the Violence Prevention Fund each year shall be used exclusively to increase the aggregate City appropriations and expenditures for violence prevention programs (exclusive of expenditures mandated by state or federal law). To this end, the City shall not reduce the amount of such City appropriations for such programs (not including appropriations from the Fund and exclusive of expenditures mandated by state or federal law) in any of the three years during which funds are required to be set aside under this Section below the amount so appropriated for the fiscal year 2004-2005 ("the base year") as set forth in the Controller's baseline budget, as adjusted ("the base amount"). The base amount shall be adjusted for each year after the base year by the Controller based on calculations consistent from year to year by the percentage increase or decrease in aggregate City and County discretionary revenues. In determining aggregate City and County discretionary revenue, the Controller shall only include revenues received by the City and County that are unrestricted and may be used at the option of the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors for any lawful City purpose.
The method used by the Controller to determine discretionary revenues shall be consistent with method used by the Controller to determine the Library and Children's Baseline Calculations dated June 20, 2000, which the Controller shall place on file with the Clerk of the Board in File No. 000952. Errors in the Controller's estimate of discretionary revenues for a fiscal year shall be corrected by an adjustment in the next year's estimate. Within 90 days following the end of each fiscal year through 2009-2010, the Controller shall calculate and publish the actual amount of City appropriations for services for violence prevention efforts that would have been eligible to be paid from the Fund but are paid from other sources, separately identifying expenditures mandated by state or federal law.
(g) Expiration Date. This Section shall expire by operation of law on June 30, 2010, and the City Attorney shall cause its provisions to be removed from future editions of the Charter.