City of San Antonio’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Makes Investments in Public Health, Housing and Workforce Development
SAN ANTONIO (September 17, 2020) – Today, the City Council unanimously adopted the $2.9 billion Fiscal Year 2021 Budget, which is $4.4 million lower than last year’s budget, stays well below the statutory cap on property taxes and continues to invest resources in the four pillars of the Recovery & Resilience Plan, which includes keeping people in their homes, training people to secure jobs that are available today, supporting small businesses and improving digital connectivity for residents.
“The goal of the fiscal year 2021 budget is to maintain the city services that our residents expect, while also helping them recover from the devastating economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said City Manager Erik Walsh. “We’ve been able to make meaningful investments in the services our community asked for, including public health, housing and human services, such as resources for mental health and support for those experiencing homelessness.”
The FY 2021 Adopted Budget invests $346 million in the community to vital services including health, housing, education and human services; this is in addition to the $291 million from federal grants targeted to assist the City with the response and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, as part of the continued response to COVID-19, many departments, such as Metro Health, Fire, Neighborhood & Housing Services, Economic Development and Human Services, have changed their focus to address the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic and help San Antonio recover from its effects.
$45.8 million is allocated to Metro Health, including $20.3 million in the General Fund, which is a 29.6 percent increase compared to the FY 2020 Adopted Budget, the largest proportional increase of any department. The Adopted Budget creates a new Violence Prevention Division in Metro Health with a total investment of $8.9 million, including $1.3 million in new funds, and the transfer of 20 Crisis Response Team employees from the San Antonio Police Department to Metro Health.
The adopted budget also includes $1 million to expand the Healthy Neighborhood Program and to create a new Community Health Connector Partnership and augment other public health programs. The adopted budget also adds $120,000 to add 12 healthy corner stores in Districts 1, 2, 4 and 7, while maintaining support for the eight stores in District 3. This program provides healthy food options to areas that lack access to grocery stores.
The FY 2021 Adopted Budget allocates $27.5 million for affordable housing initiatives. This allocation also includes $300,000 for new legal kiosks at key city locations to assist at-risk populations.
The adopted budget includes $486.5 million for the San Antonio Police Department, an increase of 1.7%. Nearly all of the increase is contractually-obligated (by the collective bargaining agreement with the police union) or state law-required. The proposed budget reallocates $1.6 million from the police budget to accept a federal COPS grant to hire 25 new officers focused on preventing domestic violence and reduces overtime for police officers by $3.4 million.
The FY 2021 Adopted Budget also introduces a deliberate process to address foundational issues within the police department, review police services and engage the entire community on expectations. The San Antonio Police Department responds to more than 2.1 million calls for service per year, some of which may be more appropriately handled by other departments and service providers. The process will review foundational issues, such as accountability and discipline of officers, determine the community’s expectations of the police department, incorporate community input and identify funding and alternative response mechanisms. A draft plan will be presented to the City Council by April 2021. Negotiations for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with the San Antonio Police Officers Association will begin in the spring of 2021.
Support for Residents Experiencing Food Insecurity
The budget also invests $1 million in the San Antonio Food Bank’s Culinary Center. The project will provide more prepared meals for families experiencing food insecurity. The center will also increase Culinary Training program class size, provide space for on-site nutrition education classes and allow the San Antonio Food Bank to be more prepared in the event of a natural disaster or future pandemic.
The General Fund, the largest operating fund in the proposed budget, is $1.28 billion, which is a 0.7 percent increase over FY 2020. The increase is primarily due to compensation increases from the collective bargaining agreements with the police and fire unions. The Adopted Budget includes new and existing investments in community service priorities. These investments include:
- Small business support: additional $500,000 that partially reinstates a City fee waiver program and an establishes a new entrepreneurship program
- Violence Prevention: a new division in Metro Health with a total investment of $8.9 million, including $1.3 million in new funds and the transfer of 20 Crisis Response Team workers from SAPD to Metro Health
- Affordable Housing: $27.5 million to assist residents at risk of displacement and facilitate the development of affordable housing
- Homelessness and Mental Health: $36 million investment, representing a $1 million more than FY 2021. $560,000 will allow the City to expand the Homeless Outreach Team created through the recovery and resiliency plan resulting in 11 district outreach Teams (one per district and downtown). $500,000 is added for an alternative mental health response option
- Healthy Food Access: $120,000 to add 12 healthy corner stores in Districts 1, 2, 4 and 7, while maintaining support for the 8 stores in District 3
- Education: $1.1 million to AlamoPROMISE to provide college scholarships to Alamo Colleges students
- Human Services and Workforce Development: $24.3 million for delegate agencies providing critical services to San Antonio residents
The General Fund also adapts to a new fiscal reality and the impacts of COVID-19 by including $87 million in budget cuts over two years ($38 million in FY 2021 and $49 million in FY 2022) due to revenue reductions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some the of the reductions include:
- Reduction of $14 million through City hiring freeze for most vacant positions, no pay increases for City employees, and other compensation adjustments
- Suspension of economic development incentives saving $5.5 million
- $3.4 million in reductions to the Police Department overtime budget and suspension of Police Cadet Hiring Bonus program ($739,500)
Robert Smith could be 1st Black NFL Owner
Robert Smith is a businessman and philanthropist who has had a very successful career in the financial industry. He has been interested in owning an NFL team for some time, but had not found the right opportunity.
The Denver Broncos are one of the most storied franchises in the NFL. They have won 6 Super Bowls and are currently valued at $2.6 billion, making them one of the most valuable franchise in football.
It should come as no surprise that a billionaire from Colorado has emerged as one of the possible bidders for the Broncos. An NFL success story, his efforts will make him the first black team owner in NFL history.
Smith would need to spend $1.2 billion, as the NFL requires primary owners to put up 30% in cash.
According to a Denver Gazette report, six groups are looking to buy the Broncos. One has former quarterback Peyton Manning and former president & general manager of the Broncos John Elway. Others include a group led by Ms. Brittany Bowlen – daughter of late owner Pat Bowlen.
The sale of the Broncos could go for more than $4 billion, making it the richest team sale in the history of American sports. If the team sells for $4 billion, Smith would need to spend $1.2 billion, as the NFL requires primary owners to put up 30% in cash.
Denver native Smith has pledged to pay off student debt acquired by 400-plus of the University’s graduates. He is currently the chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners which he founded in 2000.
Smith has an estimated net worth of $6.7 billion and is ranked as the richest Black person in America, according to Forbes. The Broncos have a current value of $3.75 billion, with room to grow to more than $4 billion if sold now.
Boyd Collaborates With KJ Marley
Boyd Collaborates With KJ Marley To Address White Farmer Claims of Reverse Discrimination and Lawsuits Blocking $5Billion
White Farmers are suing for Reverse Discrimination to prevent $5Billion in Emergency Relief for Black, Native American and other Farmers of Color. Civil rights leader John Boyd and KJ Skippa Mak Marley collaborated with Kara Brewer Boyd, Association of American Indian Farmers, to release a song “The Land” to highlight historical and ongoing broken promises, broken treaties, racial discrimination and land loss suffered by Native Americans and Black Farmers in the US.
John Boyd, Jr., Founder and President, National Black Farmers Association, 4th generation Black Farmer in Mecklenburg County, Virginia sued the US Dept of Agriculture (USDA) and received a Fact of Finding for Racial Discrimination which led to the 1st USDA Discrimination settlement by an individual. Boyd went on to assist 10,000s of other Black and minority farmers to file discrimination complaints, lawsuits and class actions against USDA. Farming is our oldest occupation. In freedom we treasured having land to work for ourselves, our families and racial progress. “Forty acres and a mule,” was an embedded aspiration.
KJ “Skippa Mak” Marley, son of Kymani Marley, is an international hip-hop artist infusing reggae and dancehall, while invoking the unmistakable musical spirit of his legendary grandfather Bob Marley to speak Truth to Power.
“I think it’s shameful on behalf of white farmers who didn’t reach out to me to say they have any sort of issue with this—they went straight to federal court,” Boyd said.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 program represents remedial relief for Black farmers who have had to fight USDA discrimination through the courts to get loans in the first place. “This is not ‘reparations’ as it’s been explained by white farmers, it’s not a ‘windfall,’ it’s not a new loan program,” he said.
“In 30-plus years of advocacy, I have never seen this level of racial tension in America. As I strive to encourage a new generation, time is against us. It’s been white farmers the whole time who have gotten debt relief from USDA, and all of these years it was Black and other Farmers of Color who were not getting it. That’s why I went through the courts and Congress to get remedial action. It finally passed under the covid spending bill,” Boyd said.
“I never heard them say it was harmful when they got debt relief,” said Boyd. “It’s a continuation of what Black farmers have been facing in this country, what you’re seeing going on in these courts.”
We want our land, we want our money, and we want reparations! Pay US Now!!!
“The Land” featuring John Boyd Jr. and KJ Skippa Mak Marley speaks volumes to the challenges we still face.
I call upon my fellow farmers, neighbors and friends to join us in facing them together.
Black Woman-Owned Courier Company Expands Services to San Antonio
Express Errands & Courier is one of the fastest-growing female lead companies in 2021, and their growth is not slowing down. The company currently has 11 locations and plans to expand in four metropolitan markets to include San Antonio, Nashville, Los Angeles, and Charlotte by the end of 2021.
Express Errands & Courier offers same-day delivery solutions to other 3PL’s, Auto, legal and medical industries, specializing in expedited deliveries, the “EXPRESSWAY.” Trusted by Ferrari of Atlanta, Kimberly Clark, Duke University, and MTV, to name a few – it’s clear that founder and owner Roslyn Ellerbee knows how to meet courier and delivery needs large and small. With a focus on reliable and affordable logistics solutions, Express Errands & Courier is quickly becoming one of the leading companies in the logistics industry.
Ellerbee is a professional with experience in digital marketing, business development, and entrepreneurship. Through Express Errands & Courier, she is building partnerships with businesses that propel them to the next level. Ellerbee says, “2020 has taught us that change is the seed of growth with the right strategic partnerships, your company can thrive in an uncertain economy.”
She is well known for her business sense and relatable way of communicating with her clients and partners. Express Errands & Courier consistently receives positive feedback from customers and employees throughout their service areas.
About Express Errands & Courier
Express Errands & Courier offers safe and reliable delivery and courier services in 11 convenient locations. Their friendly and well-trained staff is available to help with logistics needs and questions via their website at ExpressErrandsofJAX.com. Visit their contact page to find phone numbers for each service area, as well as an online quote form.
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