Monday, January 25, 2016

Youth Making Choices for Seattle

From the City of Seattle via Catherine Weatbrook who sits on the steering committee for Youth Voice, Youth Choice.

What would youth 11-25 do with $700,000 of the City's budget? 

Youth Voice, Youth Choice is a new Participatory Budgeting (PB) Initiative from the City of Seattle. PB is a democratic process where community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget that focuses on engaging people who have not historically been involved in government, budget processes, or represent underserved communities.

A new project from the City of Seattle called Youth Voice, Youth Choice, empowers youth ages 11 to 25 to share their ideas at one of six upcoming idea assemblies. From those assemblies, project delegates will be selected from the youth in attendance, and those youth all be coached into creating a high level project descriptions. City-wide, those project ideas will be voted on by the youth in our city. The top vote-getters will then be developed by the youth and various departments and other technical resources, into fully scoped and budgeted projects. Those projects will then be put forward in round two of voting! The top $700,000 of projects ranging in size from $25,000 to just over $250,000 will then be funded out of budget money already allocated for this project.

Beyond the opportunity to have youth decide on youth-focused projects in our city, this process engages youth, offers many opportunities for leadership roles, and experience developing project proposals with budgets. 
The first event is January 28th is at Meridian Center of Health, 10521 Meridian Ave N

Other assemblies are:
February 3 from 3 – 5 p.m. at UW Ethnic Cultural Center, Unity Room
February 4 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Greenwood Library
February 9 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at Douglass Truth Library
February 10 from 4 – 6 p.m. at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center
February 18 from 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. at New Holly Gathering Hall
And one more TBD.

No RSVP required. Entire youth groups are encouraged to attend. Please - help spread the word about this amazing opportunities, and remember, it’s the 11-25 year olds that must be the ones at the table here!  

On a personal note, I’m excited for this opportunity to bring a new generation into being active in our city. The City Neighborhood Council, which I co-chair, worked with CM Licata’s office and many others to help make this opportunity possible. Mayor Murray put the funds into the 2016 budget, and the council approved it. 

I am proud to serve on the steering committee helping launch this opportunity in Seattle.  Participatory budgeting isn’t new, but it is new to Seattle. Seattle becomes only the second city in the United States to focus this process on youth. More about Participatory Budgeting can be learned here: http://www.participatorybudgeting.org/about-participatory-budgeting/what-is-pb/

Going forward, I’m hopeful that this process, which is being designed to be more approachable, equitable, cost effective, and flexible than many of Seattle’s existing grant processes, and can serve as a model for rethinking many parts of our budgeting and granting activities in Seattle.

If you have questions, feel free to contact me at catherine.weatbrook@gmail.com, or Rahwa.Habte@seattle.gov


Anonymous said...

I wonder if they are involving the Seattle Youth Commission on this.


Catherine said...

Yes - two Seattle Youth Commission members are on the Steering Committee.

Unknown said...

Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice. See the link below for more info.


Kent Sommer said...

I come to this place every now and then. The place is really nice, the crowd is full of regulars, and the food and drink specials are pretty good! The staff at venues Chicago is great and really gets to know your name. Totally worth your time on any night for good food and drink.