During the meeting, Councilmembers provided feedback to the proposal and made their own recommendations. In addition, more than 60 community members made public comments at the meeting, and more than 1,000 public comment cards, emails and eComments were submitted.
“This is a continuation of what we started with Measure U and with the CARES Act,” Steinberg said. “Let’s continue investing in our community.”
Tuesday’s discussion was the first public meeting regarding the Mayor’s proposed spending framework, which he had sent to the Council in letter form last week. The framework is similar to the one the City used in allocating the $89 million it received in CARES Act funding last year.
The proposal was the result of months of discussions led by the mayor, and it reflected input from Council members, City staff and advocates from the various sectors, Steinberg said.
Here are the categories and funding amounts from the proposal:
- Small Business and Commercial Corridor Revitalization ($30 million)
- Solutions to homelessness and affordable housing construction ($41 million)
- Youth, workforce training and gang prevention programs ($18 million, $11 million from ARP )
- Arts and the creative economy ($10 million)
- City employees and organizational needs ($25 million, $20 million from ARP)
Following the discussion, City Manager Howard Chan on Tuesday said he will work with staff to come back to Council in the near future with a refined proposal that in incorporates the feedback. He noted that the federal government is still finalizing the eligibility requirements for American Rescue Plan spending.
The City has received $56 million from ARP this year and is set to receive an additional $56 million next year.
One of the proposal’s top priorities is $30 million to revitalize the city’s commercial corridors and assist small businesses. This includes $8.2 million in priorities identified by local business and community leaders who participated in a working group led by Vice Mayor Jay Schenirer.
Items in this category include removing boards from windows downtown and creating a clean and safe environment citywide. The City’s Al Fresco dining program will be continued and formalized.