Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced today that the City and County of San Francisco in partnership with the San Francisco Interfaith Council will launch a new funding program that will provide resources and support to non-profit and community-based organizations serving immigrant communities.
The new Immigration Defense Fund will bolster San Francisco’s frontline immigrant-support organizations. These non-profit and community groups provide legal representation at deportation hearings, citizenship and asylum services, and legal counsel for unaccompanied minors, among a bevy of other services.
“San Francisco, is and always will be, a Sanctuary City for all residents,” said Mayor Edwin M. Lee. “If our citizens live in fear of being deported, they are not visiting hospitals, going to their jobs, or even sending their children to school. When we support our residents, San Francisco is a healthier, safer, and more productive place to live. These organizations fulfill crucial roles for our immigrant communities and we are committed to upholding their mission. San Francisco will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our immigrant communities and fight for the progress we’ve achieved in this City.”
Mayor Edwin M. Lee, Supervisor Jane Kim and City College Acting Chancellor Susan Lamb announced that starting next school year City College will be accessible for all California residents living in San Francisco and taking courses for credit.
Additionally, the new program will offer financial assistance for low-income students with a grant to fund books, transportation, health fees and other expenses.
“As a child of working-class immigrants, I know first-hand the importance of a college education and the struggles to pay for it,” said Mayor Lee. “Working together, we found an economic plan that would make City College accessible to our city residents and give additional support to those students struggling the most. This commitment will provide our residents the opportunity to attend college, continue to learn and create better lives for themselves. This is an investment in our youth, in our city and in our future."
Mayor Edwin M. Lee today announced with community-based organizations, the Human Rights Commission, and the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigration Affairs the launch of the Equity and Immigrant Services Campaign, a multi-pronged effort for the continued support of immigration legal services.
This year, Mayor Lee dedicated $3.8 million to serve the legal needs of the City’s immigrant community. Following the presidential election, Mayor Lee met with many of the community-based organizations that serve San Francisco’s immigrants and heard the concerns and needs for more resources. These community-based organizations are the gateway for many families to get the services they need such as, legal representation, health care, and education. Subsequently, Mayor Lee moved forward with dedicating an additional $1.5 million on top of the $3.8 million already funded to expand and bolster immigration-related legal services in fiscal year 2016-2017. In total, Mayor Lee has pledged nearly 14 million dollars for immigration-related services over the next two years and has committed to increasing those funds if needed.
“San Francisco is a Sanctuary City and will not waiver in its commitment to protect the rights of all its residents,” said Mayor Lee. “This year’s 1.5 million dollars will be critical in expanding and bolstering the services our community-based organizations provide to support and protect our immigrant families.”
Mayor Edwin M. Lee introduced at the Board of Supervisors the City’s Five-Year Financial Plan (Financial Plan) for Fiscal Years (FY) 2017-18 through 2021-22. Over the next five years, the Financial Plan projects that the City will experience continued economic growth; however, the plan also notes that revenue growth is slowing.
The Financial Plan shows that the cost of City services is projected to outpace revenue growth during the five-year period. If the City does not take corrective action, the gap between revenues and expenditures will increase to approximately $848 million by FY 2021-22.
“During the last six years, I am proud that the City’s strong economic growth has allowed us to expand and improve city services – for instance, expanding MUNI services by 10%, increasing public protection staffing in line with our Public Safety Hiring Plan and improving the availability and quality of health and human services for the City’s most needy. However, many uncertainties lie ahead,” said Mayor Lee. “Financial stability is central to the City’s ability to provide sustainable services to the public. Staying disciplined today will ensure we are more resilient as a City over the long term.”