San Antonio: District 2 Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez’s Statement on the Approval of the City Budget

CONTACT: Imgard Rop | (210) 207-8261

SAN ANTONIO (September 16, 2021)  - "Today, my actions on the dais are a culmination of the feedback I've received from thousands of District 2 residents whom I met while knocking on doors, at our open office hours, community events, and in every day constituent assistance services. This year, District 2's Budget Town Hall was the largest in the city with over 150 residents and organizations, and I brought all of their collective voices with me. To the organizers, advocates, and regular working-class people who make up the constituency of District 2: I hear you, I took action at this budget session, and I will continue to fight so your voice will be represented here at city council."

As representative for District 2, Councilman Jalen McKee-Rodriguez successfully advocated for substantive change for San Antonio's Eastside in the FY 2022 budget.

According to the SASpeakUp budget survey, District 2 constituents' top budget priority was seeking an increase in funding for street and sidewalk maintenance. In a list of 11 District 2 priorities, policing services came in at number nine.

These items we successfully advocated for:
  • A comprehensive street light index and further funds for more streetlights within our neighborhoods including an additional two staff members to facilitate this project, totalling $5.8 million.
  • District 2 will receive the most collective sidewalk/ street repair and maintenance funding in infrastructure funding.
  • A significant increase in affordable housing funding to ensure people can stay in their homes totalling $34.8 million, $20.4 million of which will go to home repair programs: Under One Roof, Owner Occupied Rehabilitation, Minor Home Repair.
  • $1 million for Demolition Diversion.
  • A new Civil Rights Coordinator within the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion to further uphold and strengthen the merit of the Non-Discrimination Ordinance.
  • Ella Austin will receive funding for an HVAC system, electrical repairs, fire sprinkler repairs, and mold assessment at $255,000.
  • Big Mama's Safe House and SA Rising Stars, both housed in District 2, received $25,000 each.

Additionally, the City added five Animal Care Services officers to better assist our neighbors, their pets, and the many animals on our streets. $1 million has been added to fund a crew of 6 and pay for heavy equipment to address illegal dumping across San Antonio. Our District will also launch a Youth Content Creator Fund at $250,000.

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Further, our office rejected the increase of nearly $15 million to the SAPD budget in order to re-allocate those funds to community-based tools. Unfortunately, the motion failed. District 2 will continue to advocate for an Office of Crime and Recidivism Prevention. This office would serve our City as a proactive, data-driven, community-based operation rather than continued reactive responses. Currently, we were able to secure $25,000 for Big Mama's Safe House, one of our district's biggest advocates for holistic crime prevention by concentrating on attacking the symptoms that lead to crime and recidivism. SA Rising Stars also received $25,000 to continue empowering youth to build and impact their communities. Thank you to Bennie Price and Charles Sattiewhite for their relentless love and dedication to the underserved.

"Any increase to the police budget should be met with the utmost scrutiny. While I am deeply disappointed in my Council Colleagues' decision to continue with 'business as usual' in support of an over-inflated policing budget, the conversation will continue so we can provide true public safety and care for all of our neighbors. As our office has made it clear, this means safe streets, sidewalks, lighting, access to affordable and quality housing, healthcare, healthy food, living wages, youth and senior programs, and other quality community needs. Overall, we are grateful for the inclusion of priorities District 2 constituents voiced need for and will continue to ensure their participation is valued and reflected on the dais. We thank City Staff for their work on this budget and look forward to continued collaboration."

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Filed Under: Government, City

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