It's like clockwork at budget time: non-profits line up at the microphone to plead with a city council or a board of supervisors not to cut back their funding.
That's exactly what happened Tuesday night before the Santa Cruz City Council. Obviously the people representing the non-profits are doing what they need to do -- publicly advocate for their organizations. But what they really need to do is come before the council at other times during the year.
Specifically -- they need to be there when proposals come up that might add to the economic health of the city. That means that they need to advocate for economic growth.
It's well known in Santa Cruz that any proposal for a new business or development anywhere in town brings out protesters and naysayers. And too often, the only supporters for these business interests are the applicants themselves.
Politically, they need more support. And that support ought to come from these same non-profit groups that showed up this week before the City Council. The council can't hand out money it doesn't have -- and economic growth means more tax revenue for the city.
Non-profits can't be missing in action all year and then show up and expect the same money they've always had. If they want city funds -- help to ensure that city revenues are healthy.