I saw this on the Participatory Budgeting Project website and thought I’d mention it here as well. Looks like Vallejo, California just approved the first city-wide participatory budgeting process in the US! Residents will decide how to spend around $3 million from new sales tax revenue.
The April 20, 2012 article about this in the Times Herald seems to no longer be available, but here is a segment from the article…
The City Council of Vallejo, California, approved the first city-wide Participatory Budgeting process in the US this week. Residents will directly decide how to spend around $3 million from new sales tax revenue.
The council voted 4-3 to launch a process known as “participatory budgeting,” setting aside 30 percent of revenue collected from a sales tax hike initiative voters passed in November, reports Jessica A. York.
Under City Charter provisions, public-proposed uses for the estimated $9.5 million a year ultimately will require council approval.
“I think that there’s been a number of times in the very recent past in the city where we have not always spent money in the public interest,” Council member Marti Brown said.
“There’s a lot of different opinions out there.” said Council member Stephanie Gomes, “And because we didn’t have a special tax, because this is general, we need to hear from the constituents (with participatory budgeting.)”
Mayor Osby Davis, joined by Council members Hermie Sunga and Erin Hannigan in opposing the participatory budgeting process, said the city would be better placed to undertake participatory budgeting in the future.