Participatory Budget Coming to the First District

Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez will be launching a demo of the Participatory Budgeting (PB) process to First District residents this weekend on Saturday April 11th, 2015 at Cesar Chavez Park (401 Golden Ave) from 10 AM to 12 PM.

“This is going to be a preview of the full scale Participatory Budget process.” said Councilwoman Gonzalez. “First District residents will get a unique opportunity to directly decide how to spend $50,000 of discretionary funds.”

The First District is partnering with Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) a non-profit organization that empowers people to decide together how to spend public money, primarily in the US and Canada. They will be introducing the process, see what the community values are, and help residents get a feel for the process by actually deciding how $50,000 gets spent.

The demo will consist of 3 gatherings where community leaders and residents gather and collect ideas and eventually decide how best to allocate the funds.

From April 2015 to June 2015, the District Committee will oversee the PB process, along with District 1 staff and the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), our technical assistance partner.

While it is relatively new process in the U.S., the White House has already recognized PB as a best practice of civic engagement. Long Beach District 1 joins District 9 in doing PB in Long Beach. This exciting pilot process will give community members real power over real money and will serve as a model for cities around the country.