With the city of Sacramento following the “stay at home” orders, predictions of $90 million will be lost in revenue. As California projected a $5.6 billion surplus in January according to NPR , the drastic tax deficit from COVID-19 has the city continuing to use funds from Measure U to sustain itself.
Measure U was passed in 2012 as a temporary ½ cent sales tax proposed in order to restore resources for low-income communities, such as providing park furnishing improvements, programming for community centers, and an additional 100 jobs pre-pandemic. Now the repurposed funds from Measure U have gone towards workforce development programs and small businesses, when it was intended for undeserved neighborhoods.
According to the City Of Sacramento, the city would have been receiving funds from Measure U in June. Mayor Darrell Steinberg hopes to reallocate the funds from Sacramento’s $89 million federal stimulus back into Measure U.
The Measure U committee has asked the City Council to allocate $15 million, or approximately 20% of Measure U tax revenue pre-pandemic. Mayor Steinberg has acknowledged their desire but has proposed only $5 million to start.
With public services such as community centers, Measure U would create free opportunities for youth to engage in social interaction in compliance with COVID-19 safety regulations.
The Cypher Hip Hop Workshop is one of those programs, a non-profit organization aimed at teaching youth empowerment, individualism, and cooperation with an emphasis on Hip Hop culture. Recently the program has taken a turn into the digital realm for the summer to keep active in the community while staying safe.
“Our first attempts at working with the students was through instructional videos, it ended up presenting challenges that made us realize this would be a learning experience, everybody does their best. It forces us to be creative and adapt so we can still continue to connect with youth, because the program is now more than ever beneficial for the kids to participate and break the monotony of being at home.” Says Michael Brim, founder of The Cypher Hip Hop Workshop
Michael Brim states accessible resources to help youth reach educational goals and family needs such as employment opportunities are necessities for undeserved communities.
“Non profits, and community based organizations need more funding as these are the people that live within these communities.”