On February 21, 2023, the San José City Council voted unanimously in favor of a budget message that includes workers, all neighborhoods, parents and children, and our most vulnerable residents. This is a huge victory for the community, and a powerful reminder that working people can have a voice in their government.
In the weeks leading up to the vote, community members, advocates, and labor unions came together to demand a budget that meets the needs of all San José residents. They held rallies, met with council members, and made phone calls and emails to let their voices be heard. The mayor’s initial budget proposal did not address the basic needs of working people, parents and children, communities of color, and low-income residents. It proposed cutting funding for essential services, such as public safety, housing, and transportation.
But the community made their voices heard and the City Council voted unanimously to prioritize funding for City staffing, safety, and children and youth services. This is a major step forward, but it is not the end of the fight.
This vote marks the start of an annual months-long process by which our City Council will decide how to spend our $6 billion budget. During the Council Meeting on February 28, Councilmembers will decide what issues to prioritize, which projects to focus on, and whose needs to consider. This meeting is a critical time to uplift what we want to see in this year’s budget. We need to make sure that our City Council hears our voices and invests in the things that matter most to us, like good jobs, services for children and youth, and qualified and dedicated city employees. This year, we’re urging the city to build a stronger, more compassionate, and equitable San José for all by making strategic budgetary decisions to:
- Address the housing crisis. San José is facing a severe housing crisis, and we need a budget that invests in affordable housing and homelessness prevention.
- Protect workers. We need a budget that protects workers from wage theft and exploitation, and pays workers fairly.
- Staff up San José. We need to address city workforce needs by filling vacancies, providing fair compensation, and collaborating with bargaining units for better policies and opportunities for City workers.
- Provide care for all. To provide quality education. We need a budget that invests in our schools and early childhood education programs
- Support our most vulnerable residents. We need a budget that supports our unhoused neighbors, seniors, and people with disabilities.
The City Council will finalize the budget in June 2023, and there will be opportunities for the community to weigh in on the details. Until then, we will continue to advocate for a budget that meets the needs of all San José residents. We need a budget that invests in our future, not cuts back on essential services — and we’re doing the work to make that happen!
Here are some things you can do participate in your City budget process:
- Stay informed about the budget process
- Attend City Council meetings
- Make calls and emails to your councilmembers
- Donate to organizations that are fighting for a budget for all
- Sign up to our email lists or follow us on Instagram to remain updated.