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City Budget Watchdog: Reporting on San Francisco's half-billion-dollar hole


In the summer of 2009 (see timeline, below) the city of San Francisco became engulfed in a severe budget crisis. The city's deficit stood at $438.1 million, forcing administration of Mayor Gavin Newsom to ask each city department to cut its bottom line by at least 25 percent. In June and July, city administrators slashed their budgets and, in some instances, completely eliminated public health and social welfare programs, in an economic climate in which San Franciscans need them the most.

The Public Press partnered with the journalism micro-funding project to cover this deepening crisis on a day-to-day basis. We proved a primary source for in-depth reporting on who is making the cuts and how the "budget blues" were felt by all of city's communities.

In late August, thanks to 80 individual donors, the Public Press was able to reach its $5,000 three-monht fundraising goal to pay nine reporters to produce the stories below. Visit the City Budget Watchdog page to see how this was done. To the donors: thank you! You have helped power independent noncommercial public media in the Bay Area.


Video series:

Supes on: the budget — a series of interviews with San Francisco's supervisors.

From the minutiae to the big picture, several San Francisco supervisors discuss aspects of the city's budget crisis in their own words. 

KALW roundtable:

Public Press/KALW budget roundtable examines city's fiscal crisis

The Public Press and KALW (91.7 FM) teamed up for a budget roundtable that aired Aug. 17 on the "Crosscurrents" news program. A panel of local experts offered a lively and informative on-the-air discussion about San Francisco’s budget crisis and its impacts on residents and communities. 

Also on KALW: 

Ben Trefny of "Crosscurrents" on KALW Public Radio interviewed Christopher Cook, project editor for the City Budget Watchdog series, about the impact of state and local budget cuts on seniors and poor people in San Francisco. The conversation aired Sept. 30 on KALW's (91.7 FM) Crosscurrents news program. 

Newsmaker: Christopher Cook on health care cuts

9/30/09 4:31 pm 



Recent stories:

San Francisco budget timeline:

Timeline by Mary Catherine Plunkett and Kristina Shevory

Supervising Editor: Christopher D. Cook
Series Contributors: Patricia Decker, Hank Drew, Monica Jensen, Michael Pistorio, Mary Catherine Plunkett, Kristina Shevory, Lizzy Tomei and Kevin Stark.