Coalition Hosts Community Forum on Health Services and EHS Department Budgets
February 28, 2019
The County Budget: Its Impact on You and Your Community
December 5, 2018 Workshop in Concord
The basics of county budgeting
Anna Roth & Kathy Gallagher
with Coalition Coordinator Dan Geiger, at “A Conversation about Budgets”
On February 28th, Contra Costa Health Services Director Anna Roth and Employment and Human Services Director Kathy Gallagher engaged in a conversation with more than 50 community and service provider representatives at an event sponsored by the Budget Justice Coalition.
Directors Roth and Gallagher presented a high-level overview of their respective values, priorities, budgeting process and major budget components, which can be downloaded below. They also answered questions in a discussion moderated by Coaltion Coordinator Dan Geiger.
About 50 people attended a public workshop on December 5, 2018 on the basics of the County budget. We also took a closer look at funding for services for the homeless and how affordable housing gets developed and funded. Speakers included:
Supervisor Candace Andersen
Dan Geiger, Budget Justice Coalition Coordinator
Lavonna Martin, Director of Health, Housing and Homeless Services
Kristen Lackey, Affordable Housing Program Manager, Department of Conservation and Development
Nikki Beasely, Executive Director, Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services (moderator)
The Contra Costa Budget Justice Coalition held two workshops to delve into the structure and process of county budgeting, identify characteristics of Contra Costa’s budget, and explore “values-based budgeting” best practices. We learned about initiatives in other counties and explored next steps and strategies in our budget education and advocacy efforts. This powerpoint presents an overview of basic county budgeting practices and highlights several case studies of community engagement strategies.
Margaret Brodkin, founder of Funding the Next Generation, the nation’s only initiative fighting for local public funding measures for services to children, youth and their families, has shared a presentation that provides an overview on budget advocacy strategies and tactics.
2018 Investment Priorities
The Coalition conducted a preliminary survey of community organizations. It received 440 responses within a four-day period, demonstrating a high level of interest among community stakeholders. High-level findings include:
Top identified county budget priorities for 2018:
Health care for low-income residents (71%)
Children and youth services (71%)
Mental/behavioral health (66%)
The four core values that should guide county budget decisions:
Meeting basic needs
Investing in prevention
Promoting equality of opportunity
Promoting racial equity
Budget process & transparency:
71% of respondents said they do not understand the county’s budgeting process
80% said it is very important to make the budgeting process more transparent, inclusive and timely