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Sonya R.

24 neighbors want Oakland residents to decide how the budget is spent in Oakland.

Participatory budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. In other words, the people who pay taxes (all of us) decide how tax dollars get spent.

The Brazilian city of Porto Alegre started the first full PB process in 1989, for its municipal budget. Since then, PB has spread to more than 1,000 cities around the world. It’s usually used for city budgets, but states, counties, schools, universities, housing authorities, and coalitions of community groups have also used PB to open up spending decisions to the people.

PB lets the whole community participate in decision-making. It’s a yearlong process of public meetings, to make sure that people have the time and resources to make wise decisions. Community members discuss local needs and develop proposals to meet these needs. Through a public vote, residents then decide which proposals to fund.


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Here's some information from the Community Democracy Project, based in Oakland:

Firstly, we are very grateful to all those who gathered signatures with us during our launch event! We had a blast working the downtown streets with you at the Art and Soul Festival, and at various grocery stores. Our fair city is abuzz with the change we are ushering into existence! There are a lot of like minded Oaklanders who recognize the value of our initiative, and we are beginning to hear from more and more folks who are hearing buzz about CDP's campaign! Recently, we've been contacted by people from Madison interested in their own participatory budgeting campaign, and we were written up on Shareable.net. CDP has been working toward this moment for a long time. We're gearing up to meet the challenge of gathering 40,000 signatures in the next 6 months!

We have Democracy Days scheduled every weekend: Saturdays 10:30 am - 2:00pm, and Sundays 2:00pm - 5:00pm. Meet us at our new office: 570 14th Street, Suite #3

We are completely volunteer run, but even so, we have to pay bills. If you cannot volunteer your time, please open your wallet to help us buy supplies and pay rent. We need everyone to pitch in for this effort to be successful! You can write out a check to Community Democracy Project and send it to 570 14th Street, Suite #3, support us online by clicking here, or deliver it in person the next time you volunteer. If you want one of those snazzy t-shirts you see folks wearing in the picture above, we're selling those as a fundraiser, too!

In Peace,

Gregory Jackson and the CDP Team

Supporters All

Chris Palmatier
allison
Dan Woloz
Milan Lee
Bruce Wilson
Adam Stiles
DebA
Captain Sea Flea
Matt Hunt
Rachel Grossman
Erica Brown
Brien Colwell
Dan
Bridget
Alan Joseph Williams
Colin Mutchler
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Mayor Libby Schaaf

Next week, I begin a series of community conversations across Oakland to hear directly from you about your priorities for the city's FY 2017-19 budget.

These informal gatherings aim to make the budget process as fun, engaging and accessible as possible, and are consistent with the events I convened in the previous budget cycle (FY 15-17), which encouraged residents to attend neighborhood discussions, participate in online conversations, and to make their voice heard through budget surveys available on the City website and via social media (#oakbudget).

We currently have the following neighborhood forums scheduled, and look forward to announcing others in the Fruitvale district, Chinatown, and Eastmont neighborhood in the coming days.

Wednesday, March 8, 7 - 8:30PM, North Oakland Community Charter School, 1000 42nd Street, hosted by the Longfellow Community Association.

Monday, March 13, 11AM - 1PM, East Oakland Senior Center, 9255 Edes Avenue.

Tuesday, March 14, 6:30 - 8:30PM, East Oakland Boxing Association, 816 98th Avenue, hosted by East Oakland Collective.

Wednesday, March 22, 6:00 - 8PM, Sullivan Community Space (West Oakland), 1671 8th Street, hosted by the Prescott Neighborhood Council.

Wednesday, March 29, 7 - 9PM, Hiller Highlands Country Club, 110 Hiller Drive, hosted by the North Hills Community Association.

As in 2015, my forthcoming budget proposal will keep a focus on investments that will help responsibly grow the City's economy and permanent revenue base so we're able to meet our long-term financial obligations and provide all of the vitally needed services in the future so Oakland can become a healthier, safer, more equitable, and prosperous community. After hearing from you, I will present my proposed budget to the City Council.

I look forward to making sure the diverse voices of Oakland are reflected in my budget proposal, so please let your friends and neighbors know how they can make their voices heard.

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Posted Mar 2, 2017
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Dan

Nice write up on the process in Vallejo that mentions both CDP and Open Budget Oakland - blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/05...

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In Vallejo, Citizens Directly Choosing Projects to Fund | KQED News Fix

by Lauren Bénichou The Vallejo City Council is set to vote Tuesday on a series of projects -- from streetlights to senior centers -- that were chosen

blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2013/05...

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Posted May 29, 2013
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Sonya R.

Dan, yes indeed! We'd be happy to have you. And Adam, thanks for sharing the Open Budget work here, it's so powerful and relevant.

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Posted Feb 12, 2013
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Adam Stiles

For people interested in the education/communication side of participatory budgeting in Oakland, stay tuned to openbudgetoakland.org -- we're relaunching within the month. Some CDP folks are also involved in this project.

The future site will have many Oakland budget visuals, data sets and tools for people to create and share their own visuals, and a forum for dialogue.

If you'd like to help build this, come to OpenOakland meetings Tuesdays at City Hall. More info here: openoakland.org

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Posted Feb 12, 2013
Dan
Dan
May 29, 2013

Thanks Adam!

Posted by Dan on May 29, 2013
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Dan Woloz

Apologies for the delayed reply, I was on extended leave. I would like to attend a meeting and possibly be more involved. Are meetings still being held every Monday at 7pm at The Sudo Room?

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Posted Feb 12, 2013
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Dan

CDP Community Building Potluck
This Saturday, Jan 26, 3 - 5 pm (kickoff at 3:30)
At the Sudo Room, on 22nd St between Broadway and Telegraph, next to address #459. Ring the bell if the door is locked, otherwise just come in and take the elevator to the 2nd floor.

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Posted Jan 23, 2013
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Dan

Nice new site from the CDP -

"The Community Democracy Project promotes active citizenship, community learning, and direct democracy by putting the people in charge of the budget. Our voter initiative will change the Oakland City Charter so that we the people decide how our tax money is spent. There will be empowered neighborhood assemblies throughout the city where people can come together to discuss community issues and determine public priorities by directly voting on the city budget. The time has come for public decision-making to include the voices of all."

communitydemocracyproject.org/

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Posted Jan 18, 2013
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Adam Stiles

A bit of context, that pie chart was created in a few hours at Code for Oakland, with the only data available on the City of Oakland website. We agree that the available data isn't very helpful. Last week, after much effort, the group secured much more detailed data and is in the process of building the platform described at the top of the thread. Stay tuned! And here's a bit more on the process with the city: oaklandlocal.com/article/oakla...

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Posted Sep 10, 2012
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Dan Woloz

Something to think about, the city's HR department has a bigger budget than both the parks and libraries combined

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Posted Sep 10, 2012
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Dan Woloz

Hack the Budget received from the city the data needed to make this pie chart
hackthebudget.herokuapp.com/

A good step in the right direction! Not exactly helpful though that the largest expenditure category is vaguely described as "non departmental"

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Posted Sep 10, 2012
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