The People’s Budget Sacramento is a grassroots organization working towards reorganizing Sacramento’s city budget to reflect the values of the community. The People’s Budget has conducted a survey with over 2,000 participants in agreement for reallocating funding to public services such as health care, and alternatives to dialing 911. As of now, the county’s budget spends 70% on law enforcement and the carceral system.
“Reinvesting in services like M.H. First will be a much more cost effective measure than our current approach of sending out law enforcement when someone is in mental health crisis. Taking money from the Sheriff to send toward M.H. First will help them scale up their work to provide resources to folks in need, decreasing the need for law enforcement involvement and providing better outcomes for people in crisis” says city council member-elect, Katie Valenzuela.
The project is inspired by The People’s Budget LA, as the city has displayed an immense amount of grief due to police brutality. Transferring resources away from injustice and back into occupations that improve public safety is the biggest priority of The People’s Budget. The redistribution of funding given to the Sheriff Department to preventative services and community care is often faced with criticism as some argue this may not be an effective plan. Examples from other cities’ successes and educational assets to help further political knowledge are available on the website.
“If the Board of Supervisors decides they want to prioritize the People’s Budget, we will hopefully see them start to shift funding over in this year’s budget. We are not expecting a full transition all at once, but the start of a process that will align the budget with the community’s priorities over time,” Katie insisted.