City and community leaders announced on Friday, March 31, that they are seeking public input into a monthlong budgeting effort to decide how to allocate $3 million, which will be spent in three Los Angeles communities — Boyle Heights, Mission Hills/Panorama City/North Hills, and Southeast Los Angeles.
“For too long, disadvantaged communities of color have had to fight for equitable allocation in city budget,” Councilman Tim McOsker said in a statement. “No one knows better than those community members what services and programs will improve lives and neighborhoods, so it is imperative to have their input on where they want to see funds allocated.”
A “Get Out the Vote” press conference was held Friday in Watts for LA Reforms for Equity and Public Acknowledgement of Institutional Racism, the city’s first — and California’s largest — participatory budgeting program. It was created by the City of Los Angeles’ Civil + Human Rights and Equity Department.
Hundreds of ideas were submitted by community members last fall. Now residents, students and workers over the age of 15 in those three communities will decide how $3 million of the city’s budget will be spent in their communities.
“Participatory budgeting gives real people real power over real money,” said Capri Maddox, executive director of L.A. Civil Rights. “For the first time, historically marginalized people in Los Angeles are deciding how city dollars are spent, giving them the power to address longstanding issues in their communities.”
According to the city, some of the proposals range from rental assistance to environmental improvements for youths and seniors. Residents of the Boyle Heights, Mission Hills/Panorama City/North Hills and Southeast L.A. communities can vote for a proposal at bit.ly/40u68DV through April 30.
LA Repair will allocate approximately $8.5 million over nine zones, which include formerly redlined neighborhoods and communities that the LA Civil Rights Department identified with high poverty, pollution, COVID-19 mortality rates and lack of home internet access in the city.
According to report from the Los Angeles Civil Rights Department, all nine zones have a population with at least 87% people of color and represent more than half of all Angelenos living in poverty.
Following the budgeting process in these three communities, or zones, the city will begin seeking public input from its next six zones, which include Arleta-Pacoima, Skid Row, South L.A., Westlake, West Adams-Leimert Park-Baldwin Village and Wilmington + Harbor Gateway.
The L.A. Civil Rights Department is also seeking members of the public from those communities to serve on their advisory committee. Community members can apply by going to bit.ly/3TYXMS1.
City News Service City News Service is a regional wire service covering Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties. Its reporting and editing staff cover public safety, courts, local government and general assignment stories. Contact the City News Service newsroom at 310-481-0404 or email@example.com.