September 10, 2018
The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) has submitted a letter in response to the renewal of Measure U in Sacramento. The content of the letter is below.
Dear Mayor and City Council:
The Environmental Council of Sacramento (ECOS) agrees with the concerns about the renewal of Measure U expressed in a recent letter from neighborhood groups and their supporters to the Sacramento City Council. We are also concerned that a permanent extension of the City’s local sales tax measure (Measure U) without significant changes in community engagement, budget process, and oversight will mean that City residents who will pay this tax will have no way to ensure that the funds collected are used for the greatest and most equitable community benefit.
ECOS generally supports the four proposals outlined in the letter submitted from the neighborhood groups:
- There should be meaningful comminity engagement for all plans and pending decisions that represents our diverse communities. This process should begin well before a final plan or decision is released, and all comments and documents received in that engagement should be publicly available. Engagement should prioritize low-income communities and communities of color.
- Once per year, with the annual budget, the City should conduct an assessment of the impact on disadvantaged communities by the previous year spending and proposed spending for the next fiscal year.
- The City should implement a participatory budgeting process to get meaningful public input on the spending that will be proposed for each annual budget. This process must conclude before any final budget is proposed for the next fiscal year and include meaningful community engagement. Any final recommendations should include a racial impact assessment of proposed spending.
- There should be meaningful citizen budget oversight through a citizen oversight committee that has the ability to convene meetings when the committee deems necessary and to provide recommendations to the City on budget spending and proposals.
We request that the City Council take formal action to adopt these requests before the November election. We look forward to working with you to institute these long-needed changes to the City’s planning and budget process.
To access the letter in PDF, click here.