Last week the Board of Supervisors adopted a budget for the City that included about $120 million in operating funding for the Recreation and Parks Department. This includes roughly $30 million in funding from the City’s General Fund – less than 2% of that fund. While this funding level continues the chronic pattern of underfunding our park system, it could have been worse.
And, it also just got a little bit better. The Board voted a supplement to the budget (called an “add-back”) that restores $420,000 in this fiscal year, plus $665,000 in the next fiscal year beginning July 1, 2013. This extra funding will be devoted to hiring additional park patrol officers and gardeners, and will directly address two of our most pressing problems in our parks – curtailing vandalism and providing for more grounds maintenance.
The Parks Alliance engaged in an array of advocacy efforts last week to support this add-back. Thanks to all of you who contributed by contacting your Supervisor! We’re gratified we’ve been able to have a positive impact on making this small but important step in the right direction in funding our parks.
Park ally Supervisor Scott Wiener.
Supervisor Scott Wiener was the leading voice on the Board in favor of this add-back, and it was his leadership that made this win possible. The most powerful part of advocacy isn’t asking for something you want from your government- it’s helping your leaders take a stand, and thanking them when good things happen. So please join me in sending a thank-you message to Supervisor Wiener at firstname.lastname@example.org. I know he’ll be glad to hear from you!