Long Beach’s First District Has $75,000 to Spend and Wants Input from Residents on How to Spend It

Drake Park

Google Maps screenshot of Drake Park.

Long Beach Councilwoman Lena Gonzalez has $75,000 of discretionary funds to spend on the First District, so her office has set up an event where she will hear from residents on where the money should go Monday evening.

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Capitalizing on the popularity of the location-based smartphone game, the “Pókemon Vote” participatory budget process, as her office is calling it, is scheduled to take place Monday, July 25 from 6:00PM to 8:00PM at Drake Park, located at 951 Maine Avenue. The event will take place before Movies in the Park.

“Participatory Budgeting is about engaging residents and letting the community vote on how they want to spend $75,000 throughout the First District,” said Councilwoman Gonzalez in a press release. “What better way to do that and have some fun than to add a few Pokémon to the mix.”

The evening will include games, opportunities for drawings and photos, as well as free Pokemon lures. The release did not specify how many Póke stops or Póke gyms were at the park.

All Long Beach residents may participate in the festivities but only First District residents, ages 14 and older, will be allowed to vote on the projects.

Participants do not need to be registered voters or US citizens to participate, according to the release.

“Over the past few months, First District residents have come together to brainstorm ideas for community improvement projects and developed these ideas into full proposals,” the release stated.”

So far, project ideas for this year include park improvements, safety upgrades and community art.

This is the First District’s second cycle of participatory budgeting, described a “democratic process that gives local residents that power to directly decide how to spend city funds.”

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