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Civics & Democracy

Residents From 5 LA Neighborhoods Can Now Vote On Which Programs Should Get City Money. Here's How

To the left a wall has a mural of a woman with graffiti over some landscape. To the right a park square features an elaborate  gazebo. People are walking through the park.
Boyle Heights in in the first phase of communities voting on how to spend city money.
(Megan Garvey
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The city of L.A. is asking residents from Boyle Heights, Southeast L.A., Mission Hills, Panorama City and North Hills to vote on a series of community programs that would receive funding from the city.

Why it matters

These neighborhoods are designated by the city as REPAIR Zones, which stands for Reforms for Equity and Public Acknowledgement of Institutional Racism. There's a total of nine REPAIR Zones that stretch across L.A., from Harbor Gateway to the San Fernando Valley.

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These communities were determined by the city as areas that have been impacted by structural and institutional racism. At least 87% of the population in those communities identity as people of color, and 16% live below the poverty line according to L.A Civil Rights.

This is the first time the city is offering a participatory budget, where residents from the LA REPAIR Zones can voice how they want to see city funds invested in their communities.

Why now

As of April 1st, the first group to take part in the participatory budget opened for residents from Boyle Heights, Southeast L.A., North Hills-Mission Hills-Panorama City. Residents will vote on which proposal they want to see funded by the city.

The proposals come from community based organizations who created a range of programs that would serve the environment, housing and transportation, health and wellbeing. Each community has a total of $775,000 to fund up to three programs. Some of the programs include community gardening, mental health services and youth mentorship.

Here's where you can access the full list of proposals for and voter guides for:

These neighborhoods have until the end of April to vote.

The backstory

The LA REPAIR Zones participatory budget comes out to $8.5 million to be spread out among the nine REPAIR ZONES. In 2022, each REPAIR Zone had an advisory committee that talked about the issues the communities need the most. They then drafted solutions and submitted proposals that would address those issues, whether it was housing needs, clean water, or even street medicine.

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After the first group of participatory budget voting is over, the second group will open their voting process during the summer and fall of 2023. The second group includes the communities of Arleta, Pacoima, Westlake, West Adams, Baldwin Village, Leimert Park, Skid Row, South Los Angeles, Wilmington and Harbor Gateway.

Where and how to vote

Residents can vote online here or in-person at scheduled events.

Here's a list of when residents can vote in-person based on their neighborhood:

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