May, 2017
Participatory Budgeting Comes to Merced County 

It is with much excitement that we   announce an  exciting new effort that will be taking place here in Merced County. We invite you to play a key role  in a new opportunity in community empowerment. 

This month, Merced County Board of Supervisors Lee Lor (District 2) and Rodrigo Espinoza (District 1), are launching a groundbreaking   participatory budgeting (PB) process in which local residents will directly decide how to spend approximately $160,000 of county discretionary funds in their districts for the next two years.

Merced will join Chicago, Long Beach, New York, Vallejo and other cities across the country that use Participatory Budgeting (PB) in the United States. In fact, Merced will be the first county to implement the process in the Center Valley. 

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is an innovative, democratic process that
gives community residents, youth and stakeholders  the opportunity to help decide how to spend a portion of a public budget. 

A relatively new process in the U.S., the White House and the U.S. of Housing & Urban Development has already recognized PB as a best practice in civic engagement. The pilot process will give community members real power over real money to increase equity in Merced County and will serve as a model for other communities across California. 
Join the PB Steering Committee 
Efforts are underway to develop a volunteer PB steering committee that will oversee the process, along with Supervisors Lor and Supervisor Espinoza and with support from Building Healthy Communities (BHC) Merced and the  Participatory Budgeting Project  (PBP).

We invite you and interested community members to apply to serve on the PB steering committee from July 2017 to June 2018. All people are encouraged to apply including government & local stakeholders, and youth. Eligible applicants must reside in either Merced County District 1 or 2.  

Attach here is an application due by June 16, 2017 at 4:30 pm. You may submit your applications online here  or via mail to Supervisor Espinoza (if you're in District 1) or to Supervisor Lor (if you're in District 2) at:  Board of Supervisors, 2222 M St., Merced, CA 95340 .  
PB Info Session: May 31st 
Interested in learning more about PB and being part of the Steering Committee?
Get The Know: 
Participatory Budgeting Info Session

Wednesday, May 31 | 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

Merced County Office of Education Room J2

632 W. 13th Street Merced CA

Questions? contact BHC Hub Staff. 
Steering Committee membership is open to residents of Merced County Districts 1 and 2 and to community organizations, nonprofits, or public agencies serving Districts 1 and 2 - especially those working with low-income communities and underrepresented groups like immigrants, formerly incarcerated individuals, the homeless, and youth. 

Not sure which district you're in? Visit  this link .
  • Build stronger relationships with diverse groups in Merced County District 1 & District 2 and ensure that county funds are allocated in an inclusive, equitable, and transparent manner;
  • Attract new members and supporters to your organization through community outreach efforts;
  • Contribute to real community improvement projects in your districts;
  • Gain recognition for the accomplishments of PB, alongside other committee members.
  • Attend two (2) planning workshops in July 2017 to design the PB process;
  • Attend one monthly meeting every August 2017 through June 2018 to oversee the process and make decisions as needed;
  • Provide specialized support for an element of the PB process (e.g. organizing, facilitation, outreach, media, research, arts, design), based on your organization's expertise and resources;
  • Promote the PB process to diverse constituents, especially low-income and underrepresented groups like immigrants, formerly incarcerated individuals, the homeless, and youth.

Applications will be reviewed by Supervisors Rodrigo Espinoza & Lee Lor, with support from BHC Merced and PBP, to ensure that the Steering Committee represents the diversity or participating districts and a variety of resource organizations. Steering Committee members will be announced on or before June 30, 2017.

Submit your application  online here by June 16, 2017, at 4:30 pm, or download the attached version and send to Supervisor Espinoza (if you're in District 1) or to Supervisor Lor (if you're in District 2) at: Board of Supervisors, 2222 M St., Merced, CA 95340.


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