$1 million participatory budgeting pilot program launches in April. Here’s how the process works

A new participatory budgeting pilot program is set to launch this spring in Sacramento.

In response to a request from the Measure U Community Advisory Committee, the City Council in 2021 approved $1 million in Measure U funds for residents to propose spending ideas and vote on proposals through a pilot program.

Over the last six months, the Measure U Committee has worked with City staff and consultants to design the participatory budgeting process. On Jan. 31, 2022, the Committee approved a playbook that details how the pilot program will be implemented in Sacramento.

Below is how the participatory budgeting will work.

There are four key phases to participatory budgeting:

Phase 1: Idea Collection (April – May 2022)
Any Sacramento resident can submit an idea for funding consideration. Ideas can range from a few words to extensively researched project proposals.

Phase 2: Proposal Development (May – July 2022)
Community members volunteering as Proposal Delegates will review ideas for feasibility with City staff, prioritize projects for the ballot that best meets the goals of the process, and develop the highest priority ideas into fully-fledged proposals.

Phase 3: The Vote (August 2022)
Final proposals are placed on a ballot and community members will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred projects. The projects will be ordered based on the highest number of votes and projects will be funded in that order until the entire budget is used up. The results of the vote are then announced publicly.

Phase 4: Project Implementation & Monitoring (beginning in September 2022)
Winning projects are then implemented and monitored to ensure they are completed according to the project proposal details.

In advance of the anticipated launch of participatory budgeting in April 2022, interested residents and community-based organizations are invited to attend an upcoming information session learn about how they can help support the process.

More information is available on the City’s participatory budgeting web page.

Sacramento voters on Nov. 6, 2018, approved a new version of the City’s Measure U sales tax, extending it and raising it from a half-cent to a full cent. At that time, the Measure U Advisory Committee was formed. The committee is responsible for providing spending recommendations to the City Council.