City of Oakland Councilmember McElhaney To Ask For Funding For Homeless Problem In Budget Talks

Oakland District Three Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney issued her newsletter for the week, and in it, pointed to the June 19th Oakland City Council Meeting as the first one where the mid-cycle review of the 2017-2019 Biennial Municipal Budget will be held.

The 2017-2019 “Biennial Municipal Budget” is another way of referring to the two-year-budget planning process that Oakland adopted at the turn of the century. It means that rather than planning for the budget in full, every year, it’s done for two years. It makes prioritizing what’s spent that much more important. (It’s also why the City of Oakland works to gain the community’s voice in budget planning, as it’s doing now.)

In her newsletter, Councilmember McElhaney wrote that “I maintain my position that mid-cycle adjustments should be minimal – reserving our big budget adjustments during the primary adoption of priorities at the start of the budget cycle. I support the Administration’s proposal to fulfill our commitment to Oakland workers by appropriating funds for the approved cost of living adjustments. In accordance with our District’s priorities, I will vote to increase funding for: Neighborhood Services (Illegal Dumping),Emergency Housing Crisis (Homelessness), and Community Health & Wellness (critical improvements to tot lots, playgrounds and access to pools).”

While it is early, Councilmember McElhaney did not explain how much of an increase in spending for the homeless problem she would seek. This opens a door to one funding proposal advanced by the Lake Merritt Advocates and Homeless Advocacy Working Group.

At their webpage, the concerned Oaklanders that consists of about 30 groups came together to call for $4 million that would be used for serving the seven homeless encampments around Lake Merritt and providing alternative housing.

To this blogger’s view, $4 million seems like a tiny request considering the magnitude of the homeless problem in Oakland. Just how much it should be will be addressed in another entry.

Read about the group’s plan here.

Stay tuned.

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