News Release - City Council to Consider Recommended Fiscal Year 2020-21 Operating Budget and Immediate Steps in Response to Community Concerns Regarding Racial Justice
REDWOOD CITY, CALIF.— On June 22, 2020 the City Council will consider the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Operating Budget. The City Council is legally obligated to pass a budget before June 30, 2020. The Recommended Budget does not change the current service levels, and will be modified in October 2020 to address both anticipated reductions in City revenues and changing community needs.
In the last several weeks, the City Council and City staff have received hundreds of requests to revise the budget and to reform policies regarding policing. In turn, the City Manager is recommending several immediate steps in response to community concerns, and is recommending listening, dialogue and action prior to developing a new budget to be considered by the City Council in October 2020.
“This is a critical time for communities nationwide to listen, learn and act to address racial inequality. Redwood City has a great history of community engagement and collaboration. We are committed to truly hearing from our community, and taking positive steps forward,” said City Manager, Melissa Stevenson Diaz.
The full report with recommendations is available here. Immediate recommended next steps include:
- Mayor and City Council to endorse the Obama Foundation Mayor’s Pledge
- Modify Police Department policies to make the use of carotid restraint a use of deadly force, not allowed as an arrest and control tactic
- Return military tactical vehicle donated to the Police Department from the federal government
- Increase frequency of racial and cultural diversity training
- Preserve art related to the June 2, 2020 Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest and develop a travelling display accompanied by resources on racism for community learning
Additionally, the City will develop additional listening opportunities for the City Council and staff to hear from residents regarding their concerns about racism and policing, and ideas for alternative service delivery models. To inform and shape the revised budget to come before the City Council in October, this dedicated community engagement will occur July through September. City staff will also increase information easily available to the public on police use of force and complaints against officers, as well as community policing activities.
Community feedback will be an important component to the revised budget developed for City Council consideration in October. In addition to addressing City Council priorities related to financial sustainability, support for vulnerable people in the community, climate adaptation and economic vitality, the revised budget will provide recommendations for increased community involvement in Police policies and activities, and to strengthen the City’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion within the City organization and in the provision of City services.
The Redwood City City Council will meet virtually Monday, June 22, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. for their regularly scheduled meeting. The agenda is available here. To maximize live public comment, members of the public are encouraged to participate via Zoom. For web participation, visit www.redwoodcity.zoom.us and select “join” with the meeting ID 997 2123 7655. Participants may use the Raise Hand feature to request to speak. For phone participation, call *67 (669) 900-6833 (your phone number will not appear on the live broadcast if *67 is not dialed prior to the phone number) with the same meeting ID 997 2123 7655. Press *9 to request to speak. Please note that all public comments are subject to a 3-minute time limit unless otherwise determined by the Mayor. Public comment may also be submitted via email prior to and during the meeting to email@example.com (indicate the corresponding agenda item # in the subject line of your email). All comments received via email will be reviewed by the City Council and made part of the official meeting record, but will not be read into the record during the meeting. In addition, all City Council meetings are broadcast on local Channel 26, Comcast Channel 27 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99.
About the City of Redwood City
The City of Redwood City is a San Francisco Bay Area community located in the heart of Silicon Valley, the technology-rich region extending from the San Francisco Peninsula to the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Redwood City is the third largest city within the County of San Mateo, with 85,992 residents. The city enjoys an average of 255 sunny days a year, which it boasts via the city slogan: "Climate Best by Government Test.” Incorporated in 1867, Redwood City is home to the San Mateo County History Museum (located in the county's old courthouse) and the only active deep-water port within the south bay of San Francisco. The city's vibrant downtown, quickly becoming known as the entertainment hub of the San Francisco Peninsula, offers residents, visitors, and businesses a unique retail, entertainment, and restaurant experience. For more information on other City services and events, visit the City of Redwood City's website at www.redwoodcity.org, or follow Redwood City on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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