Daly whips out charts for budget fight

Supervisor Chris Daly has adopted a new budget fight tactic: visuals.

During Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Daly said he thought it would be helpful to put his points about the budget in “visual form.” 

And he proceeded to reveal a large chart, which he later said he made himself, that showed three bar graphs related to general fund growth during the past seven fiscal years.

The chart showed that general fund support for the Department of Public Health increased by about 35 percent, about the same percentage increase as the city’s overall general fund growth. Then there was a towering red bar graph that represented the increase in general fund support for the Police Department.

“There is one department, colleagues, that stands out” in terms of seeing an increase in general fund contributions during the past seven years. “And it stands out heads and shoulders above every other department,” Daly said.

The Police Department has seen a 65 percent increase in general fund support during the past seven years, according to Daly.

“The Police Department has had a general fund bonanza over the past seven years,” Daly said, adding that “I don’t think that we’ve seen significant improvements in public safety.”

Daly has long criticized Mayor Gavin Newsom’s budget priorities, often blasting the mayor for cutting public health services and other needs while sparing the Police Department’s budget.

His comments and visual strategy come as the city faces a deficit of $522.2 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Daly said “there are things that are happening that problematic that we do need to address with trends in our budget.”

Expect more charts by Daly. “Colleagues, I will come back with another chart next time.”
 

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