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LA launches particpatory budget pilot program to boost economic equity – Press Telegram

Los Angeles this week launched its first participatory budget pilot program to give nine neighborhoods $ 8.5 million together and the ability to decide how to allocate their share of the money.

The Los Angeles Reform Program for Equity and Public Recognition of Institutional Racism (or LA REPAIR, for short) was first proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti in his 2021-2022 budget, and the Department of Civil + Human Rights and Equity of the city developed the plan for it. .

The City Council approved it in December.

“LA REPAIR gives communities deeply affected by the history of racial and economic injustice a direct voice in investing to bring more resources to their neighborhoods and increase their opportunities,” Garcetti said Thursday, May 19, when the fund was launched. “Our goal is to put decision-making power directly in the hands of the angels so that they can be partners in building a fairer and more equitable city.”

Capri Maddox, executive director of the LA Department of Civil Rights, during the launch of LA REPAIR, a participatory budget pilot program, on Thursday, May 19th. (Photo courtesy of Fawad Assadullah / LA Mayor)

The money will first go to the Mission Hills-Panorama City-North Hills neighborhoods, southeast of Los Angeles and Boyle Heights. Later, the program will expand to Skid Row, Arleta-Pacoima, Westlake, West Adams, South Los Angeles and Wilmington-Harbor Gateway.

Communities were chosen for having high rates of poverty, COVID-19 and pollution, as well as other factors.

The nine neighborhoods have at least 87% of the population of color, at least 16% of the residents living in poverty, at least 15% unemployed, and at least 30% of rented households that paid half or more of their rental income, according to the city’s civil report. rights department.

“It’s time to empower these communities,” said LA Department of Human Rights and Equity Executive Director Capri Maddox, “and no one knows the community better than the people who live here.”

Participatory budgeting programs have already been launched in New York, Oakland and Seattle, according to LA Civil Rights.

The programs exercise public ownership of government resources and, according to LA civil rights officials, deepen democracy, improve residents’ confidence in government, and strengthen communities affected by systemic inequality.

The city is looking for 17 neighborhood residents to be part of the LA REPAIR Steering Committee, which will have six to eight meetings to develop a guide for implementing the program. The council will elect committee members next month.

During the next phase, LA REPAIR will set up advisory committees for each REPAIR Zone and community feedback will be requested in the fall.

“We want to make sure we have ordinary people in these neighborhoods who will decide how this process will work, where these dollars will be spent, and how their communities will be served,” Maddox said. “And when those ideas are funded and turned into projects, our local community organizations will be the ones to implement them.

“Every step of the way,” Maddox added, “REPAIR will be done by and for the people of the communities.”

You can find more information about the program at repair.lacity.org.

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LA launches particpatory budget pilot program to boost economic equity – Press Telegram Source link LA launches particpatory budget pilot program to boost economic equity – Press Telegram

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