Tag Archives: Participatory Budgeting

The Morning Update Show — 4/22/21

The Morning Update Show — hosted by Trae Holiday and The Big O (Omari Salisbury) — is the only weekday news and information livestream that delivers culturally relevant content to the Pacific Northwest’s urban audience. Omari and Trae analyze the day’s local and national headlines as well as melanin magic in our community. Watch live every weekday at 11 a.m. on any of the following channels, hosted by Converge Media: YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Periscope, and whereweconverge.com.

We also post the Morning Update Show here on the Emerald each day after it airs, so you can catch up any time of day while you peruse our latest posts.

Morning Update Show — Thursday, April 22

Compassion Seattle – a closer look | Erin Goodman | What’s up with Participatory Budgeting and the $30M?

Continue reading The Morning Update Show — 4/22/21

Participatory Budgeting Committee for Unincorporated King County Seeks Participants

by Jack Russillo


King County is calling on residents living in urban areas in unincorporated King County (including many areas of South King County) to apply to be on an ambitious new participatory budgeting committee that will have the decision-making power for millions of dollars worth of infrastructure and community development projects.

“This is something [King County has] been looking at since 2016 — how to get our community involved in some sort of participatory budgeting process,” said Gloria Briggs, the King County community investment committee coordinator, in an interview with the Emerald. “And so we’re here now and it’s a really great opportunity. I’m really excited to get community members on our committee and to get them actively engaged in this process. The [participatory budget] process, within itself, has a lot of positive impacts for our community.”

Continue reading Participatory Budgeting Committee for Unincorporated King County Seeks Participants

Durkan Administration Asks State to Expand Scope of Audit Into City Council Contract

by Erica C. Barnett

(This article was originally published by PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.) 


On Monday, the director of the city’s Department of Finance and Administrative Services (FAS), Calvin Goings, and the city’s finance director, Glen Lee, signed a letter to the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) asking the auditor to expand the scope of its ongoing audit of the contract between the city’s Legislative Department and the Freedom Project, which served as the “fiscal agent” for a $3 million project to study participatory budgeting and alternatives to policing.

However, PubliCola’s reporting indicates that the letter was written not by Goings and Lee but by Mayor Jenny Durkan’s office — and that Goings and Lee were less than thrilled to sign their names to such a blatantly political series of requests and leading questions.

Continue reading Durkan Administration Asks State to Expand Scope of Audit Into City Council Contract

OPINION: Experts in Our Own Care — Our Community Dictates How Millions Are Invested

by Shaun Glaze and Jasmine M. Pulido


Our community has fought hard for this moment.

Tens of thousands of people protested for the vision of a world without police murders, one where Black death would no longer be funded by public dollars. The rallying cries to divest money from policing were clear. Community members and hundreds of community organizations pushed city leaders to reinvest those funds back into our communities most harmed by police brutality. Those closest to the issues are closest to the solutions. With that in mind, Black and Brown community members presented a vision where we the people decide how that money is spent — not elected officials. This isn’t a new process. Seattle has been doing Participatory Budgeting (PB) — a process that allows people in a city, rather than elected officials, to decide how money is spent — for nearly four years now. But now is the time for Black and Brown community members to design the process and lead the investment priorities for the budget. Over 100 community members became researchers to help design that roadmap based on feedback from thousands of community members.

Now is when we decide.

Continue reading OPINION: Experts in Our Own Care — Our Community Dictates How Millions Are Invested

OPINION: Defund the Police Isn’t a Slogan, It’s a Call to Action in Response to Generations of Racial Violence and BIPOC Communities Should Be Leading

by Alycia Ramirez


Since the death of George Floyd last spring, the term “Defund the Police” has jumped into the public conscientious, but not by some twist in fate or happenstance. The fight for police accountability and reform has been a generations-long battle, which has coalesced into what we see today with the Defund the Police movement.  

In over 100 years of policing there has been repeated violence directed at Black and Brown communities at the hands of police, and little meaningful reform to stop or reduce it. White America may be just fine with doing the absolute bare minimum and maintaining the status quo, but marginalized communities may not be so willing to endure another century of violence directed at them.  

The uncomfortable truth is that police forces were originally created in our nation for the purpose of upholding white supremacy. They were slave catchers, created for the explicit purpose of capturing runaway slaves. 

Continue reading OPINION: Defund the Police Isn’t a Slogan, It’s a Call to Action in Response to Generations of Racial Violence and BIPOC Communities Should Be Leading

More Details Emerge About Black Brilliance Project’s Research Plan

by Paul Kiefer

(This article previously appeared on PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)


PubliCola has obtained a copy of the King County Equity Now (KCEN) work plan for their public safety research project that’s intended to lay the groundwork for a participatory budgeting process next year. About $30 million of the $1.5 billion general fund budget is supposed to be allocated using participatory budgeting — a process that enables the public to vote on which projects and priorities they want to fund — next year.

The Seattle City Council finalized a $3 million contract with Freedom Project Washington, a nonprofit that offers programs inside and outside prisons to help with reentry and prevent re-incarceration, to fiscally sponsor and oversee KCEN’s research last week. With the contract finalized and the work plan submitted, Freedom Project Washington now has access to the first $1,250,000 of that total. Freedom Project Washington is allowed to subcontract with other groups to conduct parallel research. Currently, though, KCEN is the group’s only subcontractor.

Continue reading More Details Emerge About Black Brilliance Project’s Research Plan

After Council Vote, Solidarity Budget Celebrates Victories but Battle Against SPD’s “Hugely Bloated Budget” Continues

by Jack Russillo


After Seattle City Council voted yesterday on the 2021 City budget, partners in the Solidarity Budget coalition hosted a live Facebook-streamed teach-in event to share perspectives and analyses of the close-to-official City budget. Mayor Jenny Durkan has said she will sign the budget into law next week.

Solidarity Budget is a platform endorsed by more than 200 community organizations who have been calling for a 2021 City budget that is anti-racist, pro-Black, and that works toward a healthy future for all. Among representatives from King County Equity Now (KCEN), Decriminalize Seattle, Transit Riders Union, Got Green, Puget Sound Sage, and other Solidarity-Budget-supporting organizations, political activist Nikkita Oliver helped facilitate the 77 minutes of virtual conversations

Continue reading After Council Vote, Solidarity Budget Celebrates Victories but Battle Against SPD’s “Hugely Bloated Budget” Continues

Weekend Reads: Surveying Seattle Voters on Policing and Homelessness

by Kevin Schofield


This weekend’s “long reads” include a close look at a local political survey; the Washington State Health Department’s biweekly status update on the spread of COVID-19 in the state; and a guide to how Seattle’s foray into participatory budgeting might take shape.

Continue reading Weekend Reads: Surveying Seattle Voters on Policing and Homelessness

King County Equity Now Announces Community-Based Research Team

by Elizabeth Turnbull


On Monday, the King County Equity Now (KCEN) Coalition unveiled the Black Brilliance Project, a Black-led, community-based research team set to investigate health, public safety and racial equity solutions, with the goal of providing direction and authority on how City funds should be applied toward meeting these needs in 2021. 

The Black Brilliance Project’s first 50 members were on-boarded last week, and the project will ultimately consist of over 100 paid research positions, occupied by various members of the city’s Black community, some of whom spoke at a press conference on Monday. 

Overall, the project will survey the needs of the Black community and provide a potential avenue for community members to be involved in budgeting decisions as an alternative to City-formed task forces that usually decide how money for the Black community is allocated. 

“When we say community voice we don’t mean some task force that is cherry-picked by white wealthy people who already have access to political power,” said KCEN research director Shaun Glaze during a press conference Monday. “Instead of having pre-set priorities, instead of having hand-selected task forces, we are pushing for a community voice and community power to be at the center.”

Continue reading King County Equity Now Announces Community-Based Research Team

What Is Participatory Budgeting, and How Could It Shape the City’s Approach to Public Safety?

by Paul Faruq Kiefer

(This article was originally published on The C Is for Crank and is reprinted under an agreement.)


When Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced her decision to veto the City Council’s midyear budget rebalancing package on Friday, she specifically called out an ordinance appropriating $3 million for the council to contract with community-based groups to create a “roadmap for future equitable participatory budget processes related to public safety” by gathering public input to shape the City’s public safety budget priorities.

Council member Tammy Morales, the sponsor of that ordinance, has said that the research would be the first step toward “participatory budgeting,” a process some cities use to guide public spending, often by allowing residents to vote on how to spend a designated pot of money (a federal grant, for instance).

Continue reading What Is Participatory Budgeting, and How Could It Shape the City’s Approach to Public Safety?