SF Youth Rally Demands City Protect Violence Prevention Programs, Predominantly Black and Brown Schools

By Yana Singhal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Young people from across San Francisco converged at City Hall last week to voice their concerns regarding proposed budget cuts that threaten vital public safety programs, said a recently released statement by The People’s Budget Coalition.

These programs, ranging from workforce development to LGBTQIA+ support, mental health, legal aid, and housing services, have been instrumental in safeguarding the city’s most vulnerable communities, noted the coalition.

As the specter of reduced funding looms large, youths are protesting, they say, to prevent the potential unraveling of the safety net that has been painstakingly woven over the years as described by The People’s Budget Coalition.

“Today, young people from across San Francisco gathered at City Hall to urge the city to maintain funding for public safety programs that have been proven to keep young people and families safe,” argues The People’s Budget Coalition.

The impending budget cuts, if implemented, would disproportionately impact organizations supporting Transitional Age Youth (TAY) and their families, jeopardizing the progress made in ensuring community well-being and stability, according to the coalition.

The People’s Budget Coalition explained how the rally at City Hall served as a platform for impassioned pleas from community leaders and youth advocates who emphasized the urgency of sustaining support for these essential programs.

Ani Rivera of the San Francisco Latino Parity & Equity Coalition (SFLPEC), said, “We’re not asking for handouts, we want jobs, we want housing, we want healthcare, and it must happen now.”

One of the core concerns raised by advocates is the potential closure of schools primarily serving Black and brown students due to declining enrollment, the coalition statement notes.

Economic instability and housing insecurity have been identified as key factors contributing to this decline, highlighting the interconnectedness of education, housing, and public safety, the coalition maintains, adding without adequate wrap-around services, vulnerable families are left adrift, pushing the cycle of instability.

The People’s Budget Coalition, comprising over 50 organizations and unions, has been at the forefront of efforts to safeguard essential services, and argues programs like CARECEN, which provide crucial support to low-income residents, have demonstrated tangible success in crime prevention, underscoring the value of proactive interventions.

However, the coalition insists these very programs now face the risk of severe budget cuts, jeopardizing their efficacy and leaving countless individuals without vital assistance.

“It is clear that the right tools for the job of crime prevention are those focused on providing communities with food, shelter, job opportunities, and mental health services,” stated The People’s Budget Coalition.

According to the coalition, the proposed budget cuts threaten to undermine these fundamental pillars of community well-being, disproportionately affecting working-class families, people of color, the homeless, and other marginalized groups.

The People’s Budget Coalition notes San Francisco youth continue to champion the cause of social justice, demanding equitable access to essential services for all residents, and adds, as the city grapples with the complexities of budget allocation, it is imperative to heed the voices of those most affected and prioritize the preservation of programs that uphold the safety and dignity of every San Franciscan.

About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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