OAKLAND, Calif., June 10, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Community and labor groups in the ReFund Oakland Coalition from Oakland will rally in opposition to Mayor Libby Schaaf's budget at City Hall on Monday, June 10, at 4 p.m.
Since 2011, the City's own Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports have shown that general operating revenues have exceeded the budget's projections by an average of $45 million per year. The City's budget must by law be balanced when it is proposed and adopted, meaning that funds can't be assigned unless they are projected to come in. Therefore, under-projecting revenues serves to starve City services. Then, when those additional funds come in, they are not already earmarked, and they get put toward pet projects.
"There are only two things wrong with this budget. It funds the wrong things, and it does so in a shady way," said City of Oakland resident and employee, Felipe Cuevas, a heavy equipment mechanic and Oakland Chapter president of SEIU 1021, "We have had a number of years of Mayor Schaaf and City Administrator Sabrina Landreth's budget. We know what those budgets mean for Oakland, which is more cranes in the sky and more trash in the streets."
"For almost a decade, the City of Oakland has consistently under-projected revenue by large margins," said IFPTE Local 21 Bargaining Team member and Oakland Revenue Operations Supervisor Nicole Welch.
"Each year, we hear the same story -- that there isn't enough money for services or to help city workers keep up with the cost of living, but each year the City closes its books with millions in extra revenues."
"This year alone the City estimates that it has almost $40 million in surplus general purpose fund revenues. At the same time, the City budgets millions of dollars for positions that it never intends to fill and redirects those funds to special projects, increased overtime and private contractors. It's time for the City to invest in its workforce and the critical services we provide."
The ReFund Coalition has put forth a People's Budget that offers a viable alternative to the artificial austerity Schaaf/Landreth budget, addressing City residents' clearly stated priorities: in 2018, the City conducted a survey, in which residents overwhelmingly voted to address the affordable housing crisis, keep people in their homes, clean and pave the streets, and make sure that cranes in the sky aren't looming over people sleeping under bridges.
The rally will feature speakers from community and labor groups from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m., and then attendees will join City Council and urge them to reject the practice of artificial austerity as the potholes get bigger, the streets get dirtier, and more and more residents are forced from their homes.
The ReFund Coalition includes ACCE Action, EBASE, EBHO, SEIU 1021, Street Level Health Project (SLHP), Causa Justa::Just Cause, IFPTE Local 21, Oakland Tenants Union (OTU), CURYJ, the Anti Police Terror Project (APTP) and many others.
SOURCE IFPTE 21; ReFund Coalition