HAPPENING NOW: You can vote on how to spend $27 million in the city budget

(WSB photo)

We photographed Danitra Hunter, Telitha Floyd, and Fundisha Tibebe at the West Seattle Food Bank this afternoon, at the first People’s Budget Voting Pop-Up in our area since Participatory Budgeting (PB) moved to the voting stage. Danitra – a West Seattle artist/writer we’ve introduced you to before – is a Community Engagement Partner in the PB process, which has been slowly unfolding since the “racial reckoning” of 2020. The city budget allocated $27 million for community members to decide how to spend, and that long process is culminating now, with voting, Here’s the announcement from the city Office of Civil Rights:

As the historic Participatory Budgeting process comes to a close, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights (SOCR) and third-party administrators Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) acknowledge and appreciate all the work the broader Seattle community has graciously offered to arrive at this point. This includes community members and groups that advocated for this major City investment in truly safe, healthy, and thriving community-driven solutions equaling $27.25 million. The PB process has been designed and led by communities that are often not included in critical decisions impacting their lives. SOCR and PBP thank them for their time and engagement.

To ensure that the PB process was genuinely community-driven, it moved at the pace of community. Intentional vetting and feasibility assessments of community-developed proposals were prioritized, leading to delays in the timeline. SOCR is grateful to the community for their patience and continued diligence during one of the largest participatory budgeting programs in the United States.

SOCR and PBP look forward to hearing from community members as they vote for their preferred proposals from (now) to November 12th. In mid-November, PBP will announce the winning proposals, and in January 2024, the Seattle City Council will put forward standalone legislation appropriating the $27.25 million to the City departments implementing the proposals.

Seattle community members can visit PBSeattle.org link to vote and keep updated on PB events. Any person age 15 or above who lives, works, or plays in Seattle is eligible to vote.

You can also vote on paper ballots, in person, at pop-ups including the one that Danitra is leading right now at the food bank (35th/Morgan) until 7 tonight. She is planning another pop-up tomorrow (Thursday, October 12th) at the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor), 36th/Snoqualmie, 4-8 pm. Remember, the voting age for this is 15 and up, so bring your teen(s)! Danitra says she particularly wants to engage student voters and will be working to do that at local schools as well as at pop-up events.

11 Replies to "HAPPENING NOW: You can vote on how to spend $27 million in the city budget"

  • S October 11, 2023 (5:26 pm)

    I do not understand. We have woefully underfunded schools and an extra 27 million dollars? 

    • WSB October 11, 2023 (7:23 pm)

      This is city money, not school money.

  • Ex-Westwood Resident October 11, 2023 (5:37 pm)


    • WSB October 11, 2023 (7:16 pm)

      Millions of unspent dollars are already appropriated and waiting for police officers to be hired and trained.

    • DC October 12, 2023 (9:47 am)

      If you want more police officers, you should vote for the People Not Police Crisis Response Team. This will reduce the burden placed on police allowing them to respond quicker to high priority calls.

  • Pauline October 11, 2023 (8:02 pm)

    Awesome they are voting to students! Supposedly “transitioning to the norm” “pandemic” there’s the same issues. Hoping $ goes to relief funding for the communities such as housing, food, affordable scholarship/recreational activities, affordable child care, preventive programs, affordable tutoring services, affordable drivers aid classes, Inpatient/recovery services (I know main hospital were closed and few beds in the state). Great that at the state level medicaid expansion to undocumented adult communities in 2024! But would be nice that those booted after we return could also get access too! Also I’m glad Seattle Schools Applied for state grant for in school base Mental Health support! Anything to help our communities thrive! I’m still trying to wrap my head around politics but staying hopeful! 

  • Sue October 11, 2023 (9:17 pm)

    Why are people reluctant to participate? I think this whole process is an example of democracy in action. It’s to be celebrated!

  • Craig October 11, 2023 (9:36 pm)

    Is there any indication as to which programs would and would not impact West Seattle?  

  • KayK October 12, 2023 (11:07 am)

    Any way to contact Danitra? We would love to have a table at a neighborhood event in Highland Park.    

    • Danitra Hunter October 12, 2023 (9:16 pm)

      Hello KayK I would love to table at one of your neighborhood event- please send me an email and we can discuss further details.Sincerely,Danitra

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