By Tanza Loudenback : businessinsider.- excerpt
The city of San Francisco has hired the country’s “first-ever director of financial justice for a city,” reports The California Sunday Magazine in a short profile of the director, Anne Stuhldreher.
At her post, Stuhldreher will be tasked with determining “which government fines and fees unfairly punish the poor and middle class,” in San Francisco, according to Cal Sunday…
Stuhldreher will lead the Financial Justice Project, a new venture in conjunction with the San Francisco’s office of the treasurer and tax collector. It aims to reform the local and state governments’ purportedly harsh financial penalties for a range of infractions, from traffic tickets to criminal dues. The revenue generated from these fees and fines is used, in part, to balance public budgets.
According to Cal Sunday, if a traffic ticket goes unpaid for 20 days in San Francisco, the resident is subject to a $300 late fee that can wind up with a collections agency, potentially damaging their credit.
Further, the San Francisco Treasurer reports that “four million Californians — 14% percent of adults — have had their drivers’ licenses suspended because they can’t afford to pay traffic fines and fees.”
According to the project’s statistics, these debts and others become especially crippling to the financial lives of middle and lower-income residents.
But Stuhldreher’s efforts go beyond traffic fines. She’s also concerned with the burden the criminal justice system places on families who can’t afford to pay for a night in juvenile hall or for the cost of their electronic bracelet, for example. According to Cal Sunday, she’s studying whether a local system similar to that of some European countries, where fees are based on a person’s daily income, would work in San Francisco.
Check out the Financial Justice Project for more information, including profiles of San Franciscans who’ve been affected by the city’s steep fees…(more)
Read the full story at The California Sunday Magazine
The most popular part of this site if the ticket information. This is a huge problem for the people who live and work in San Francisco and the city has ignored it for too long. Hopefully this will help protect the people who are most at risk from these torturous programs. I expect this will be popular article.