PBP October Newsletter: Job Openings, Big California Partnership & Your Stories

PBP Partners with The California Endowment

PBP is thrilled to announce a new collaboration with one of California’s foremost foundations, The California Endowment (TCE). As part of a new grant, PBP will support local organizing for PB in 14 low-income communities across the state, through the foundation’s Building Healthy Communities (BHC) program. BHC is a 10-year initiative focused on empowering residents in these 14 communities to eradicate health inequalities through community organizing and policy change. PB presents a unique opportunity to channel public resources toward services and infrastructure that promote health and foster community economic development.

Building Healthy Communities MapAlready, we are working with groups in Merced, San Diego, Long Beach, and Oakland to launch PB in neighborhoods, cities, and school districts. In addition to our technical assistance work, PBP will hold the first California-based conference for PB practitioners and advocates in September 2014 at TCE’s facilities in Oakland. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting work.

 

PB Vallejo Job Openings & Video

After adopting participatory budgeting over a year ago in a tight 4-3 vote, Vallejo City Council decided unanimously not only to fund another year of PB but also to hire two new staff members to implement this year’s process! Applications for both positions are now open, one to coordinate the PB process and another to oversee implementation of voter-approved projects. Applications are due October 24, 2013, so please share the job descriptions widely!

PBP will now serve as technical assistance partner, providing trainings, materials and support to the City. With five newly appointed members, the PB Vallejo Steering Committee begins meeting next month to plan the neighborhood assemblies scheduled for January 2014. Budget delegates will then develop proposals for the citywide vote next October. Read about Vallejo’s process in the new 2013-14 PB Vallejo Rulebook, or watch this new video, produced by Jake Nicol, recapping the first city-wide PB process in the US:


The People’s Budget: Participatory Budgeting in Vallejo by Jake Nicol

 

PB Stories from People Like You

PB isn’t just about budgets – it’s about people coming together to work for positive change in their communities. We’re excited to launch a new project to lift up these powerful human stories. PB Stories captures the experiences of the diverse people across North America engaged in PB, explaining how they got involved, what they did, and why PB matters.

In the spirit of this newsletter’s California focus, we are starting by introducing three Vallejo residents: Jenny Aguiar, a high school student who had never volunteered in her community before joining PBV Youth Committee, Johnny Walker, a realtor who spoke out against PB when it was first proposed, and Lynda Daniels, PBV Steering Committee Vice Chair and Vallejo NAACP board member. In the coming months, we’ll add new stories of participants and champions. If you have feedback on these stories, please let us know.

PB Stories - Jenny, Johnny, Lynda

Left to right: Jenny Aguiar, Johhny Walker, and Lynda Daniels

What You Can Do

Do you have a couple of hours a month to give to your community? Do you have experience with outreach, facilitation, fundraising, design, or communications? Sign up to volunteer in New York, Chicago, or wherever you are!

Don’t have time to volunteer? Make a donation or give the gift of post-it notes.

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Upcoming Events:
Share Your Ideas for Growing PB: Do you have ideas for new projects that can help the PB movement grow? Join us at the final online participatory budgeting assembly to brainstorm ideas for how to spend money raised through PB2 – our own PB process. The top ideas will be put on the ballot for PB2 voting in November-December. RSVP for the webinar assembly Friday, November 1st, 1-2 pm EST, or submit your idea here.

2014 PB Conference: Our next international PB conference will take place in the San Francisco Bay Area in September 2014. We hope this conference will help sprout as many new PB processes as did our conference this past spring! More details soon.

Featured Resource
The Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center and the PBNYC Research Board have just released a new evaluation report on the second year of PBNYC! Click here to view their findings.

Featured Video
Brand new video recapping the first year of PB in Vallejo, CA:

In the Press
Governing Magazine featured Participatory Budgeting Vallejo as a model of the future of public participation. “City staff are used to the public being angry,” said Council Member Marti Brown, “and in this process they were curious, patient and good listeners.”

The expansion of PB in San Francisco hit the airwaves on NPR’s Marketplace.

Progress Illinois reported on the first PB Chicago assembly of the 2013-14 cycle, where the 49th ward has kicked off its fifth year of direct democracy in budgeting.

PBP T-Shirts, Postcards, Magnets, and Stickers!
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