Five Youth Programs Get Funding Thanks to Community Voting

VICTORIA, BC – The votes are counted and nearly $55,000 is being awarded to five community-led youth projects in the City of Victoria’s 2019 Participatory Budgeting.

The theme this year was initiatives that make life better for youth in Victoria.  A total of 16 projects went out for public voting and nearly 5,000 residents cast their ballot for the ones they wanted to see funded.

Projects receiving funding include a program to prevent youth homelessness, a music and poetry open mic for youth mental health awareness, a youth-focused parenting program, and a pollinator youth squad training and leadership program. A talent show for youth will also receive funding in the micro-grant category.

“Participatory Budgeting empowers our residents to create community-led projects and decide how to spend a portion of the City’s budget,” said Victoria Councillor Sharmarke Dubow, Council Liaison to the City of Victoria Youth Council, at the event today to announce this year’s recipients. “I thank everyone who participated and look forward to seeing these five important projects benefit youth in our city.”

Participatory Budgeting is an innovative, democratic process that gives the entire community the opportunity to participate and decide how to invest a portion of the City budget. The process is run by a volunteer steering committee, organized this year by the City of Victoria Youth Council. The committee engaged with the community to encourage project submissions and ensured the process was transparent, fair, and inclusive.

“Victoria’s Participatory Budgeting process truly supports citizen-led efforts to implement projects the community wants,” said steering committee member and Victoria Youth Council representative Emma-Jane Burian. “It was great to have the Youth Council so directly involved bringing the community together for something that will benefit our peers.”

The City’s 2020 Participatory Budgeting will get underway later this fall. The focus for 2020 is newcomers, followed by neighbourhood spaces in 2021.

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