Improved Sustainability, Quality Parks Top List of Priorities for 9th District Community Members

Ninth District residents clearly like their parks. Given the urban segment of North Long Beach’s location to the LA River and its containment of urban sprawl, it’s perhaps not too surprising.

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Months after Councilmember Rex Richardson instituted a series of meetings with Long Beach community members in the Ninth District to learn their budgeting needs and desires, he has announced the 2016 participatory budgeting results.

The winning projects for the second year of Richardson’s participatory budgeting included:

A sustainable approach for storm water runoff (702 votes), which is meant to manage storm water runoff on streets through curb cutouts, rain gardens and tree swales. Additionally, the project will consist of installing educational signs about improved water quality and conservation, according to Richardson’s office.

DeForest Park Restroom Beautification, which will install interior upgrades at the DeForest Park restrooms, including new finishes and furniture.

Fitness Zones at Ramona and DeForest Parks, which will allow the installation of three to five outdoor exercise machines at each two parks to “increase access to healthy lifestyles for residents of all ages,” according Richardson’s release.

“Participatory Budgeting in the 9th District has continued to engage our residents and fostered an even stronger sense of civic engagement,” said Richardson in a statement. “PB has allowed not only residents, but our city departments, to think innovatively of how we can improve our neighborhoods.”

The participatory budgeting process this year included 165 residents who began to meet for idea collections as early as September 2015. Following a series of six outreach events discussing local ideas and priorities, 51 community volunteers (including 25 youth volunteers) worked collaboratively with city officials to vet the feasibility and cost of 222 project ideas.

A total of nine proposals were selected for a participatory budgeting, and were voted on the week of May 7 through May 14. A total of 1,382 residents, aged 14 and older, voted on how to spend $250,000 of Ninth District discretionary funds.


 

Since the allocation of funding for the participatory budgeting cycle, an additional $50,000 has been allocated to the district, bringing the total to $300,000 so all top three winning projects voted on by residents can be implemented.

To learn more about the Empower Uptown Participatory Budgeting Initiative, visit www.pblongbeach.org. The Empower Uptown Participatory Budgeting process is in partnership with the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) and supported partially by The California Endowment and Stanford University’s Crowdsourced Democracy Team. The funds used for PB were allocated from Council District 9 discretionary infrastructure funds.



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