SF Members Ask Mayor Ed Lee to Reject a Proposal that Would Mean a $25 Million Loss in Vital Health Services

SAN FRANCISCO — While the SF Controller says there is a $96 million surplus, the Department of Public Health is proposing cuts to its budget that would result in a $25 million loss in nonprofit services for the city’s most vulnerable, low-income and disenfranchised residents.

More than 100 SEIU Local 1021 members, nonprofit workers, family advocates and their clients are expected to protest these cuts on the steps of SF City Hall at 12:15 today, where they then march inside City Hall to deliver a letter to Mayor Lee.

The low-income elderly, the developmentally disabled, HIV/AIDS patients as well as children and families depend on these 49 nonprofits — in danger of losing some or all funding — to provide them with health and social service programs.

Critical service and health advocates are asking Mayor Lee to make sure these vital programs can continue by putting part of the city’s $96 million surplus to good use by funding the $25 million in service reductions.

“These services keep people out of the Emergency Room, out of jail, off the streets, and supports families who are most in need, before it’s too late,” said Lacey Johnson, a Counselor at Shrader House, Progress Foundation.

As the Affordable Care Act provisions go into effect, safety net service providers will play an even larger role to the increasing number of patients who need preventative care. Yet the city is undercutting the goals of the ACA by underfunding or cutting funds completely from these programs.

These nonprofit programs and services proposed for cuts actually strengthen the safety net to help prevent the chronically ill from returning to Emergency Rooms, costing the community more money, and creating a wider service gap for the rich and poor.

What: Protest to Save Critical Health Programs
Who: Social service providers, clients, patients, SEIU Local 1021, OPEIU Local 3 as well as labor and community allies
When: TODAY, Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Time: 12:15-1PM
Where: SF City Hall Steps, Polk Street

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