East Metro Region Youth Voted Five Projects to Receive $500,000 of ARPA Funding for COVID-19 Recovery through “Youth Voice, Youth Vote Participatory Budgeting”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 17, 2023
Participatory Budgeting Oregon announced the winning projects for Oregon’s first participatory budgeting process on July 15 at Nadaka Park in Gresham
Nearly 800 young people in the East Metro Region voted from May 15 to July 15 and selected five winning projects to receive $100,000 each to implement, totaling the $500,000 funding available from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Participatory Budgeting Oregon announced the results at Nadaka Park in Gresham at the Youth Voice, Youth Vote PB (YV² PB) closing celebration. Senator Chris Gorsek (District 25) and Representative Ricki Ruiz (District 50) attended. Ruiz addressed the crowd about the importance of youth leadership and participatory budgeting.
Beyond SNAP: More Menstrual and Hygiene Products: Expanding youth access to menstrual and hygiene products that are not typically covered by SNAP benefits.
Sheltering Youth: Connecting Young People to Rental and Housing Assistance
Youth Artist Capital: Paid two-week program for youth artists to develop their art and entrepreneurial skills.
Get the Summer Job of Your Dreams!: A job resource fair to help youth learn directly from employers about how to get ready for your dream summer job.
Young Professionals - Paid Training to Start Your Career: Paid internships for youth to learn professional skills and explore job opportunities.
Youth leaders who designed Youth Voice, Youth Vote PB (YV² PB) developed program rules and five categories for eligible projects designed for and by youth ages 13-25. Each winning project corresponds with one of these five categories with community-based organizations selected to implement them.
Project categories and implementing organizations::
Youth health services (Hey Doc Clinic)
Housing and homeless services (APANO)
Youth public art (Portland’5 Centers for the Arts)
Youth recreation and cultural programs (Friends of Noise)
Economic justice (Day One Tech)
Nearly 800 ballots were counted. Eligible youth voted in select locations in their community such as high schools, parks, public events, youth-specific events, and online at youthpb.org.
The goal of YV² PB (pronounced Y V Squared P B) is to foster and support youth civic leadership and public health in the process of identifying community-driven COVID-19 relief and recovery projects funded by $500,000 in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. These ARPA funds were committed by State Legislators Kayse Jama, Chris Gorsek, and Ricki Ruiz. Cycle 1 of this youth-led participatory budgeting process is occurring within Senate Districts 24 and 25 and House District 50 in East Multnomah and North Clackamas Counties.
June through September 2022: Youth steering committee developed program rules and direction.
October through December 2022: Youth across the region submitted project ideas.
January through April 2023: Youth and community-based organizations transform crowdsourced project ideas into project proposals for the voting ballot.
May through July 15, 2023: Eligible youth vote for top proposals.
August 2023 through August 2024: Winning projects are implemented.
Participatory budgeting (PB) activates people’s power over real money in a structured process that redistributes power and resources to benefit under-represented and under-resourced populations. PB is one mechanism for community-led recovery amid the COVID-19 pandemic being used in other communities across the country to democratically allocate ARPA funds.
Jama, Gorsek, Ruiz, the Seeding Justice Foundation, and five non-profit organizations are collaborating to make YV² PB possible. East County Rising Community Projects, Participatory Budgeting Oregon, Play Grow Learn, The Rosewood Initiative, and Unite Oregon are core implementing organizations.
Participatory Budgeting Oregon organized the entire participatory budgeting process and worked with youth leaders to select the organizations to develop and implement winning projects: APANO, Day One Tech, Friends of Noise, Hey Doc Clinic, and Portland’5 Centers for the Arts.
Additional funding for YV² PB implementation came from the Seeding Justice, Oregon Community Foundation, the Collins Foundation, the Participatory Budgeting Project’s Democracy Beyond Elections Coalition, and Social Justice Fund Northwest.
A second cycle to follow this initial effort could allocate additional public funds within a similar project area in 2023 and 2024. Over the course of two participatory budgeting cycles, Participatory Budgeting Oregon and partnering organizations aim to engage at least 5,000 youth in exercising their power to benefit their communities. This process aims to expand civic leadership and organizing skills while enhancing and rebuilding community, relationships, and mental health outcomes.
ABOUT PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING OREGON
PB Oregon is an Oregon-incorporated tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. PB Oregon works for more participatory and just public budgeting for all Oregonians by centering the expertise and leadership of underrepresented communities. Through popular education and participatory democracy PB Oregon grows community power to effectively direct resources toward public needs.