Sacramento launches new Participatory Budget program

Photo of Sacramento City Hall

The city is encouraging residents to attend upcoming meetings + get involved in the new Participatory Budget program | Photo by SACtoday

Following in the footsteps of cities like Chicago, Boston + Philadelphia, Sacramento will begin the rollout of its new $1 million participatory budgeting pilot program today, allowing residents to share spending ideas + vote on proposals.

The program — developed over the last six months — was approved in 2021 using funds from the city’s Measure U sales tax.

Mayor Darrell Steinberg explained that the program “will uplift neighborhoods that have too often been passed over for investment.”

Two economically-disparate areas in North Sacramento and South Sacramento are being prioritized for the first part of the process, with each area deciding how to spend half of the million dollars.

Then, starting Mon., April 4, residents can submit their idea to be considered for funding — whether it’s a simple idea, or a fully fledged proposal. For example, if City Editor Jordan were to hypothetically propose building a Deftones statue in Delta Shores, vs. him submitting a fully built out, sweet 3D model of said statue.

From May-July, volunteers will review ideas with city staff + develop the highest-priority ideas into complete project proposals.

In August, the final proposals will be placed on a ballot + community members from North + South Sacramento can vote for their preferred projects (we think you know what Jordan would prefer). Projects are ordered based on the highest number of votes + will be funded in that order, with the results of the vote being announced publicly.

The winning projects will then be implemented + monitored to ensure they are completed in line with project details (yes, Jordan has strict guidelines for his Deftones statue).

Interested Sacramentans are encouraged to attend upcoming meetings to learn how they can support the process.

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