For the first time in The City’s District 7, residents will have the opportunity on Saturday to weigh in on how hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent in pedestrian safety improvements and other general projects.
Supervisor Norman Yee will hold a kickoff meeting 10:30 a.m. at the West Portal Clubhouse to introduce participatory budgeting, a process that allows community members to help set budget priorities.
The district has $250,000 allocated for pedestrian safety improvements and $100,000 for general projects. Up to $25,000 can be awarded to each project pitched by community members that will be executed by city departments or nonprofits.
“It’s beneficial at different levels,” said Yee, who released a report from the City Controller’s Office in October indicating his district needs pedestrian safety improvements. “The more creative juice, the more potential solutions you might have instead of talking to a few people.”
Without participatory budgeting, supervisors often decide how to spend general fund money allocated to their districts on their own, Yee said. The idea to involve community voices came from Chicago and was first tried last year in District 3, he said.
Following the kickoff meeting, residents can attend a project proposal workshop on March 5 at Commodore Sloat Elementary School. In late April, after proposals are submitted and finalized, residents can vote on which will get funding.