According to the People’s Budget website “President Trump and Congressional Republicans want Americans to believe that we must slash funding for vital cornerstones of our society, including Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, to pay for their tax handout to corporations and the extremely wealthy.”
The People’s Budget functions both nationally and locally to serve as a “budget for the 99%”. Similar to the movement gaining momentum in cities like Los Angeles, the People’s Budget Sacramento is now working to collect community input and propose a way that the City could reallocate funds to best serve the needs of the community.
People’s Budget movements across the country are stepping up to fill the demand of people and groups around the country to defund the police and adopt budgets that reflect the needs of the communities.
The People’s Budget Movements in Los Angeles have already provided a budget that cites issues such as: the housing crisis, insufficient education funding, lack of mental health services, and unsatisfactory public health systems and labels them as priorities of the community. The People’s Budget Sacramento instagram page cites that the movement in Los Angeles inspired the same movement here.
At a People’s Budget event on July 14, City Councilmember Elect, Katie Valenzuela explained, “Our tax dollars are continuing to fund a system that is hurting us, and it is overdue time that we take that money back. The People’s Budget is a simple concept. We are going to fund what the people need. We are going to fund what the people prioritize, we are going to fund the things that we know work. We are going to fund the counselors, we are going to fund the mental health services, the housing, the food, the living wages, healthcare, and all the things that make our communities safe and set for success.”
Valenzuela continued to describe the problems being faced by Sacramentans and the way the People’s Budget is responding to those needs, later recounting, “I had somebody ask me when we first started talking about the People’s budget, ‘what happens if they don’t want to do it? What if we take this to the county and they say no?’ My answer is: why would they say no if this is what the people who elected them want? And that is our job.”
The People’s Budget highlights issues and works to collect community input and take their proposals to the County to ensure the system works for its constituents instead of against them.
Valenzuela continued to directly point out the change that is needed. Explaining, “The system is getting the exact results it was designed to get, the system is not broken. It is racist. The system is functioning exactly as it is designed to function. And we are here today, to say no more… We are not going to lose one more unhoused person on our streets, we are not going to lose one more black or brown youth to our carceral system, we are not going to stand for this any longer.”
The People’s Budget is made up of Sacramentans with a clear vision of how Sacramento can do better. As Valenzuela declared at the event, “This is Sacramento, we are Sacramento…We are speaking for the people and we are guiding the fight… We are going to bring that back to this county. Before they do their budget in September and we are going to demand that they listen to the people who elect them. Are you with us?”