San Francisco will be the first city in the nation to launch a Financial Justice Project to assess and reform how fees and fines impact our cities’ most vulnerable residents.
Too often government programs and courts levy fines and fees on people, partly to generate revenue to balance public budgets. There is often an insidious unintended impact of this practice---to push people into poverty. These fines and fees can knock people down so hard they can’t get back up. Poor people and people of color are usually hit the hardest. These financial penalties can make government a driver of inequality, not an equalizer.
Over the next year we plan to:
1) Build our collective understanding of the problem and potential solutions;
2) Staff a Fines and Fees Task Force, and put forward reforms that work for San Franciscans, the City, and our community;
3) Tell the real life stories of how people suffer from financial injustice;
4) Share our financial justice agenda with other cities
Read more here about our Financial Justice Project.