San Francisco Social Services Providers Protest Expected Budget Reductions for Health Programs
More than 1,000 San Francisco social services providers and their clients met Wednesday at the city's Civic Center Plaza to protest expected reductions in programs for seniors and individuals with mental illnesses, HIV/AIDS and substance abuse problems, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The protest marks the first in a "series of demonstrations" expected this summer as Mayor Willie Brown (D) and the city Board of Supervisors plan a budget proposal for fiscal year 2002-2003. San Francisco faces a $174 million to $199 million budget deficit, and city officials have not decided "which services and programs will be hit." Brown plans to submit a $5 billion budget proposal to supervisors on June 3. Ann Lazarus, co-chair of the San Francisco Human Services Network, which organized the protest, said, "Not-for-profits are the lifeline for the city's poor and vulnerable. When the economy is weak, the need for a stronger safety net is greater than ever." A new report released by the San Francisco Urban Institute at San Francisco State University found that not-for-profit organizations in the city provide about $1 billion in services for "hundreds of thousands of poor and sick people" each year (Gordon, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.