Voting begins in East County's participatory budget process
May 25, 2023 | By Amanda Kay Rhoades | Originally Published in the Gresham Outlook
Students at Reynolds High School voted on a number of projects on May 23 as part of the Youth Voice Youth Vote participatory budgeting process.
The event, one of several, is part of a much larger process aimed at engaging youth between the ages of 13 and 25. Their input will help determine how $500,000 in American Rescue Act funds are spent in East Multnomah and North Clackamas Counties.
Earlier in the process, Youth Voice Youth Vote collected ideas from participants about how to use the money in ways that would best support their community. Students and other youth came up with ideas such as a program that would connect low-income youths with housing resources and another that would expand access to menstrual and hygiene products, which are not covered by SNAP benefits.
The five projects that receive the highest number of votes will each receive $100,000, though a spokesperson for Youth Voice Youth Vote said that they’ll continue looking for ways to fund some of the other ideas as well.
The ARPA funds were committed by state lawmakers Kayse Jama, Chris Gorsek and Ricki Ruiz, who represent Senate Districts 24 and 25 and House District 50.
To learn more about participatory budgeting in Oregon, visit pboregon.org.