By Lizzy Tomei
Video by Hank Drew
The Public Press
Part of the community-funded City Budget Watchdog series
District 9 Supervisor David Campos spoke about his approach to tackling the multimillion-dollar budget deficit. A former police commissioner, Campos is currently chair of the Board of Supervisors’ public safety committee and a member of the budget and finance committee.
Campos said the framing of the policy debate over the current budget has emphasized a “false choice” between public safety and public health funding.
Campos, a former civil rights attorney, is a strong proponent of violence prevention and park and recreation programs.
He said new taxes and fees will be necessary in order to fund the $75 million in programs the supervisors hope to add back into the budget, and labor and business representatives will need to join the mayor and supervisors at the negotiating table prepared to compromise.
In addition to cuts and new revenue, Campos said the budget process needs to be fundamentally reformed to avoid deficits and legislative gridlock in the future. “I think that there has to be a more balanced role between the legislative and the executive," he said. "I think right now it’s too one-sided and the legislative role is very limited.”
He added that the supervisors, who are given a month to review the budget, should have at least twice as much time to make policy and funding decisions. “A lot of choices are being made very quickly,” he said.