Santa Monica Forward submitted the following to the City Council.

On Tuesday, June 27, we ask that you approve a stable and responsible budget 2017-18 budget that reflects our community’s values, protects our people, and reaffirms our commitments to safe streets, early childhood education, and reducing chronic homelessness.

Santa Monica Forward has identified three key priorities in the revised 2017-19 Biennial Budget:

Safe Streets

Vision Zero could save lives. It could make our streets much safer, and traffic smoother for everyone, but without integrated leadership, our safety worries and traffic headaches will only get worse. Santa Monica Forward welcomes staff’s proposal to allocate $500,000 toward immediate high-priority safety improvements but continues strongly to support the City Council’s direction that a dedicated Vision Zero coordinator position be created—without derailing existing commitments—to give interdepartmental leadership to all aspects of street safety.

Early Childhood Education

Responding to demonstrated need in our community, Santa Monica Forward supports funding for 10 new childcare slots while recognizing that more action will be needed as there is potentially an overall $1.5 million threat to all social safety net programs, if federal cuts go through.

Reducing Chronic Homelessness

The challenge of homelessness in our community demands that we all work together—especially on the streets. Santa Monica Forward welcomes the City Manager’s commitment to ensure full 2017-19 funding for our Homeless Multidisciplinary Street Teams to help get the care and shelter they need – off the street. Supervisor Sheila Kuehl will double our city’s $300,000 commitment, providing our street teams full financial support and a rigorous evaluation to make sure they are succeeding.