Mar 15, 2023 - Politics

$10 million proposed for Tenderloin safety initiatives

Urban Alchemy crews begin their daily cleaning of the streets in the Tenderloin in January 2022. Photo: Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

San Francisco District 5 Supervisor Dean Preston on Tuesday proposed an increase of $10 million to the city's budget to fund three emergency safety initiatives for the Tenderloin.

State of play: The money would go toward funding improved security for small businesses, increasing the presence of non-police ambassadors and starting a street dealing intervention program, according to a press release.

  • Meanwhile, San Francisco Mayor London Breed is seeking approval for an additional $27.6 million to fund police overtime.

What they're saying: "City Hall often finds itself at odds on how to set this neighborhood up for success," Preston said in a press release. "Our hope is this measure is one that brings us all together to improve safety in the Tenderloin."

  • The extra funding "will help address some urgent street conditions in a meaningful and positive way," he added.

The mayor's office said business owners and community leaders want police to respond to crime and violence in the area.

  • Additionally, Breed's office said expanding the ambassador program "should be part of the upcoming budget process, which is currently underway."

Of note: Del Seymour, a longtime Tenderloin resident and community leader, said in a press release that Preston's approach "is the kind of forward-thinking approach we need to make meaningful and lasting progress."

Between the lines: The San Francisco Police Officers Association and the city reached a tentative agreement this month to increase SFPD starting salaries by 10.75% over three years, resulting in the highest starting salary of any police department in the Bay Area.

What to watch: The Board of Supervisors will vote on Breed's supplemental budget request next week.

  • Breed's proposal needs eight votes to pass.
  • A vote on Preston's proposal has not been scheduled.
  • Preston said he will not vote for Breed's supplemental, while seven supervisors have said they will, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The other three either haven't decided or disclosed how they'll vote.
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