Raise wages to protect and serve our communities

Mayor London Breed and members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors

With wages not keeping up with rising prices, we are losing the experienced nonprofit workers that provide the valuable services on which the residents of San Francisco depend. City-funded nonprofits cannot retain workers on the wages they pay or attract new workers. The Mayor and Board of Supervisors need to take action.

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To: Mayor London Breed and members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors
From: [Your Name]

Our City is facing a pending crisis of the implosion of its social infrastructure. There are nearly 5,000 non-profit workers who are performing public services under City contract. These include desk clerks and janitorial staff at supportive housing, and staff at homeless shelters, after-school and summer programs for youth, senior programs, homeless support, violence prevention and mental health services.

The Office of the Controller issued a report on May 4. “The City and County of San Francisco contracts with over 600 nonprofit service providers to deliver $1.2 billion in safety net services to vulnerable residents each year,” according to the report. “Low wage levels have led to difficulty hiring and high turnover, impacting client services and service provider stability.” Some nonprofits are reporting a staff turnover as high as 40 percent.

There is a mass exodus of workers from these low-wage positions because they are struggling to keep make ends meet with rising inflation and an increased cost-of-living. With the sky-rocketing cost of gas, many can no longer afford the hours-long supercommute to work in San Francisco.

There needs to be much more funding to increase their wages.

Now is the time to put money in the City budget to push up the wages of those who are providing valuable services to the residents of San Francisco. This will have a ripple effect creating a healthier economy for all of us. It is the right thing to do.