San Francisco will redirect $3.75 million from its policing budget to support local Black-owned businesses, Mayor London Breed announced on Wednesday (May 5). The reallocation of the funds will be a multi-partner investment by the city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development and the Dream Keeper Initiative.
“Across this country and in our city, we’ve seen how the Black community’s economic growth and prosperity has historically been disrupted and marginalized,” Breed said in a statement. “This funding is part of our efforts to undo the harm of generations of disinvestment and economic inequities.”
“As we work to recover and make San Francisco a better place to live, work and do business, we have to invest our resources in a way that lifts up and supports African American small business owners, entrepreneurs and the entire community,” she added.
According to the announcement, a total of 17 community organizations that serve Black residents will receive funding “to provide services and achieve improved economic development outcomes for African American businesses, entrepreneurs and the African American and Black communities in San Francisco more broadly.”
“Investments focus on helping African American small businesses and entrepreneurs in San Francisco start, stabilize or grow their businesses,” the announcement added.
Sheryl Davis, the executive director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission, said the “funding represents an investment in the community and addressing the wealth and opportunity gaps created by years of biased policies and approaches.”
“There is tremendous talent and potential that has been stifled by our biased policies and strategies. Through this process, we will see the implementation of creative and innovative programs that have the potential to support and benefit all of San Francisco and not just the Black community,” she continued.
The Dream Keeper Initiative was launched in 2020 as a response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of convicted former officer Derek Chauvin. The initiative was created after community members voiced support for reallocating funds from the city’s police department to systems that support Black residents.