Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process that was first developed in Brazil in 1989 and is now practiced in over 1,500 cities around the world. Though each PB initiative looks different, the process generally involves several months of public meetings, discussions and voting so that the public has time to make wise decisions.
GOALS: What is it for?
We hope to accomplish three main goals through PB in the five neighborhoods bounded by Bernal and Bailey, east of the Santa Teresa Foothills and west of Highway 101:
PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING IN SAN JOSE D2 BERNAL TO BAILEY CALPINE METCALF GRANT
Through Amendment No. 3 to the Cooperation Agreement (Metcalf Energy Center), a $1,000,000 grant has been secured for the neighborhoods within the areas south of Bernal, north of Bailey, east of Santa Teresa Foothills, and west of Highway 101. The following text from Provision B in the Amendment No. 3 to Cooperation Agreement (MEC) clarifies the City’s role and jurisdiction over the PB process:
“The Payment Amount shall be used by City, the City intends to utilize a participatory budget process with the residents directly surrounding MEC, which is bounded by the area south of Bernal, north of Bailey, east of Santa Teresa Foothills, and west of Highway 101, for the following purposes: (1) To make infrastructure improvements in the community directly surrounding the MEC that will enhance the safety, security or physical health of the residents living in such communities; (2) To provide a grant program that will make funds available to the residents in the areas directly surrounding the MEC for the purpose of funding construction of improvements that will enhance the safety or security of the residents; (3) To provide funding for the acquisition or expansion of parks, park equipment, recreation services or parks and open space and development in one or more of the neighborhoods directly surrounding the MEC; and/or (4) For any other use that CITY determines will provide a benefit to the residents in the communities directly surrounding the MEC, provided, however, that CITY agrees that none of the Payment Amount shall be used to oppose Calpine Metcalf or operation of the MEC.”
After the first round was over, former Councilmember, now Assemblymember, Ash Kalra donated $75,000 to the second round of voting. The first round of voting for Participatory Budgeting occurred between November 12, 2016 and November 19, 2016. The neighborhood’s C.A.L.M.S. camera project, worth $595,000, won this first round of voting. The second and final round of voting allocate $480,000 to Round 2 of PB. The five neighborhoods are: Avenida Espana, Chantilley, Los Paseos, Metcalf and Santa Teresa.