More than 7200 voted; 51 community projects selected
The results are in! More than 7200 community members voted for their favorite park and street projects and 51 projects have been selected. It’s all part of the City’s Your Voice, Your Choice: Parks & Streets, a participatory budgeting program in which community members democratically decide how to spend a portion of the City’s budget.
“As our population continues to grow, our communities face ever-changing infrastructure needs. Thousands of our neighbors took the time to voice their shared goals to improve communities across our City with neighborhood-driven improvements to our parks and roads.” – Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan
The projects were selected from more than 1,000 ideas submitted in February by community members across Seattle. These ideas were evaluated and honed by more than 500 volunteers who participated on Project Development Teams that met in each Council District. This spring, Seattle Department of Transportation and Seattle Parks and Recreation provided cost estimates for the proposals. Then beginning in June, community members ages 11 and above voted by Council District for their favorite projects online and at in-person polling stations at Seattle libraries.
With $3 million available, a maximum of $285,000 was allocated for each Council District. The remaining $1 million was designated for funding projects in the City’s Equity and Environment Initiative Focus Areas—geographic areas where communities of color, immigrants, refugees, people with low incomes, Native peoples, and limited-English proficiency individuals tend to live. Overall, 20 projects located in these Focus Areas received awards.
Many communities embraced the voting process, especially Districts 1 and 2 whose residents cast nearly 40% of the total votes received. “Programs like Your Voice, Your Choice are important,” observed Kim Schwarzkopf, District 1 resident and Your Voice Your Choice Steering Committee member. “It is a simple way for people to get involved, connect with their neighbors, and make a positive impact in their community.”
Your Voice, Your Choice is part of Participatory Budgeting, a civic engagement program in which community members decide how to spend a portion of a City’s budget. Seattle has joined Chicago, New York, Boston, and cities across the globe in using the process. Your Voice, Your Choice is managed by Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.