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Measure U: 2022


If U need a refresher on this committee:


The Measure U Advisory Committee is the oversight body for the 1cent sales & use tax levied on all purchases related to the City of Sacramento. The funds generated from this tax are supposed to be used to “restore essential City services that had been cut or scaled back since 2008, including those provided by Sacramento fire, police, parks and libraries.” Measure U is a general tax, and the revenue it produces goes in the City’s General Fund and can be used for any municipal purpose. Mayor Darrell Steinberg and members of the Sacramento City Council have said new Measure U funds could be used to build and bolster an inclusive economy, grow jobs and provide housing that is affordable to all. The Measure U tax was originally a ½-cent sales tax when first approved in 2012 and was increased to a full cent in 2019, which currently generates on average $100 million per year.


Fun fact: nearly half of the funds generated by the Measure U sales tax have gone to the Sacramento Police Department since its implementation.








In this article we're providing a summary of two items from the Measure U Committee meeting on 5/16!


First!


Currently parts of Measure U efforts and funding are being put into implementing a pilot Participatory Budgeting Program. (inspired by Philadelphia's Participatory Budgeting Program) *This is a pilot program - so there’s a lot that the Committee is learning & they want to hear your feedback! The effectiveness of the project is also being evaluated by an official third party - Third Plateau Social Impact Strategies


We previously discussed - in the article linked here - the process of the Measure U Ad Hoc Participatory Budget (PB) Committee collecting ideas for how to spend the $1 million allocated for participatory budgeting in the City of Sacramento.


Idea collection ended on 5/30/22.

The Measure U Ad Hoc PB Committee elected to ensure the process is equitable and focused on allocating resources to those communities that have historically received little to no investment while remaining an inclusive and participatory process

To achieve this goal the Committee will implement geographic based voting through neighborhood clusters. Which two areas & how they were chosen?

  • Using the Sacramento Community Vulnerability Index and CA Healthy Places Index, in combination with areas of historically low investments

  • Committee wants to evaluate measurable impacts in order to maximize efficacy of funding

  • North East Sac & South East Sac – each get $500K

The PB process includes the following phases:


(1) Design the Process: create Playbook

(2) Brainstorm Ideas: all resident of Sacramento that are 14 yrs + can contribute

(3) Proposal development: Anyone 14+ who lives, works, or attends school, or guardian of someone in school can serve as proposal delegate

(4) Voting on proposals: only residence 14 yrs + of the target neighborhoods - this is the next step

(5) Project implementation & management: within the designated neighborhoods.

So what's happening now?


Hundreds of ideas for participatory budgeting funds were submitted; the next step will be selecting the delegates who will be in charge of processing the suggestions. Delegates will be chosen from a pool of folx who applied for the position, they will work approximately 16-20 hours/week and they will be receiving a $200 stipend.


The delegates will then be in charge of going through the proposals & deciding which of them are viable through collaboration with Sac City staff. Proposal delegates need to 14+ years old, and either live, work, attend school, or be the guardian of someone who attends school in one of the two focus areas. The delegates will have from now until the end of July to finalized the proposals.



The deadline for submitting a form indicating your interest in being considered as a delegate was Sunday, May 22, 2022. The folx who responded before the deadline will be given priority during the selection process, but the form will stay open in case more space becomes available.


The delegate submission form is linked here.


The proposals will then go on a ballot for folx in the areas selected for funding to vote on during the month of August. The chosen projects will then be taken to the City Council for members to give the final vote to approve funding. This is a necessary step because since money is coming from the City budget, the City has to officially sign off on distributing the funds. At this point the proposals will have been vetted by the delegates as well as City staff, & have been voted on by the community. There should be no reason for the Council to deny support to the proposals.


It seems unlikely that there will be much pushback from City Council, but it's always important to keep an eye out.


Most importantly: GO VOTE!


To keep track of what’s going on go to Sac City's website page linked here - updates will be posted more frequently here (Measure U meetings only happen once a month)


Up next: budgeting recs!


The Measure U Committee put together a letter, and sent in to the Sac City Council with their recommendations for the FY 22/23 budget. Meeting doc linked here.



The Committee asked for $5.5 million for participatory budgeting, $800,000 for small business support, direct funding for affordable housing (no specific amount named), funding to be directed towards ending homelessness, services for seniors & youth k-12, community investments (e.g. community centers), additional funding for community-based violence prevention programs, resources for youth jobs & skill development, and funding for libraries/arts/creative projects - especially for young folx without access to the arts.


The Committee also requested funding for metrics (would be completed internally from within the City) for tracking how funds are being used because historically this process has not existed.


We don’t want to pour money into things that don’t work AND we want to measure and track progress. We often don’t see these two goals happening concurrently.


The Committee is also hoping for an online dashboard that would allow folx to track and evaluate funding impacts across all programs.

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