San Francisco to reinvest $3.75M from police budget into Black businesses

"We have to invest our resources in a way that lifts up and supports African American small business owners"

The city of San Francisco has announced a plan to redirect $3.75 million from its police budget to Black-owned businesses. 

Mayor London Breed made the announcement in a statement Wednesday, May 5 saying, “Across this country, and in our city, we’ve seen how the Black community’s economic growth and prosperity has historically been disrupted and marginalized.”

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“This funding is part our efforts to undo the harm of generations of disinvestment and economic inequities. As we work to recover and make San Francisco a better place to live, work, and do business, we have to invest our resources in a way that lifts up and supports African American small business owners, entrepreneurs, and the entire community,” said Breed.

San Francisco Mayor London Breed speaks during a news conference outside of Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital with essential workers to mark the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 lockdown on March 17, 2021 in San Francisco, California. San Francisco has some of the lowest number of coronavirus cases and death rates in the country with only 422 deaths in a city with a population near 900,000. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The initiative will be an investment by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development and is also a part of the city’s Dream Keeper Initiative. 

17 Black-serving community organizations will receive funding “to provide services and achieve improved economic development outcomes for African American businesses, entrepreneurs, and the African American and Black communities in San Francisco more broadly. Investments focus on helping African American small businesses and entrepreneurs in San Francisco start, stabilize, or grow their businesses.” 

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“This funding represents an investment in the community and addressing the wealth and opportunity gaps created by years of biased policies and approaches,” said Sheryl Davis, Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission.

“There is tremendous talent and potential that has been stifled by our biased policies and strategies, through this process we will see the implementation of creative and innovative programs that have the potential to support and benefit all of San Francisco and not just the Black community,” she continued.

The Dream Keeper Initiative was created in 2020 in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis. It is part of a larger plan to redirect resources from the San Francisco Police Department to support the city’s African American community. 

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