Starved Budget Kills Subsidies for Cartoon Museum, School That Trains Pornographers

Categories: Government
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Barbara Garcia, the tough-talking deputy director of the city's Department of Children, Youth, and their Families, was quoted in Friday's Chronicle saying it's no more Ms. Nice Gal for San Francisco nonprofits who don't produce a good bang for their taxpayer buck.

A new city report however suggests the department hasn't become as lean and mean as its bureaucrats say.

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Your subsidy is gone, gone, gone...
The $82 million city agency doles out money to nonprofit agencies to provide services, and the department has begun implementing the kind of nonprofit quality standards that might lead to less waste. The agency will also stop going in for fancy schmantsy programs that only serve a narrow sliver of children and parents, Garcia was quoted as saying.

"My sense is that we fund a lot of boutique programs. And I don't believe our children are that boutique-y," she was quoted as saying.

Serendipitously, Garcia made her comments a day after a city Controller's Office report analyzed the DCYF's funding decisions, allowing taxpayers to judge for themselves whether programs are boutique-y or not.

First, the hard-nosed news: Agencies given the axe for the coming year include the Cartoon Art Museum and the Bay Area Video Coalition -- the multimedia training institute that last year got caught using state taxpayer subsidies to train employees of S&M pornographer Kink.com.

Also cut: Dave Eggers' 826 Valencia youth writing program -- though that nonprofit may escape the axe with the help of a special funds infusion from the mayor, the report says. Also cut: funding for Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired; Jewish Family and Children's Services; and the Mission Language and Vocational School.

Despite the hard times -- the city faces a $483 million deficit -- some programs are going to be added to the DCYF funding stream. From where we stand, the new programs might be good candidates for Garcia's "boutique-y" test.

This year's budget includes $148,740 in new funds for the Architecture Foundation of San Francisco, a nonprofit dedicated to helping "enhance the awareness and appreciation of architecture and the design process" among youth and others.

On the boutique-y scale, they would seem to rate at least an 8.5.

Also new on the city funding list: the Treasure Island Sailing Center, which gets $25,000 for the coming year. Nothing against sailing or Treasure Island, but that sport deserves at least a botiqueyness 7.8. Also new is the Bayview Hunters Point Center for Arts and Technology, which, like BAVAC, gives multimedia classes. But with no evidence they've been funelling state tax dollars to porn, they earn a mere 2.5 on the botiqueyness scale.

The full list can be found here. We'd love to hear reader input as to the cost effectiveness of any of the organizations receiving money from DCYF during the coming year.

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