Renewal of Measure U in Sacramento

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Sincerely,
Ralph Propper
ECOS President

To access the letter in PDF, click here.

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Watch County Board Meetings on Your Phone

Sacramento County, in coordination with Sacramento Metro Cable 14 (the local government TV station that airs public meetings on Channel 14) has added a new LiveStream feature — public meetings. Now you can watch those government meetings on the go from your mobile device including those of the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors.

Providing greater access to the Board of Supervisors public meetings via mobile devices is part of an ongoing effort to engage citizens and demonstrate transparency of the public meeting process that is the vehicle to carry out County governance, operations and policy.

Over the last year, Sacramento County has also been working to make it easier and more efficient for residents to participate in local government decisions. Recently, the Public Comment link was made available to submit comments electronically on specific Board of Supervisors meeting agenda topics when reviewing the agenda online.

For those attending a Board of Supervisors meeting, members of the public can sign up electronically to speak via the kiosk stations located in the Board Chambers. Additionally, in April, an improved advanced search feature on public meeting agendas was implemented to make documents and information easier to find.

To view Board agendas, please visit the Sacramento County Clerk of the Board website, here: http://www.sccob.saccounty.net/Pages/BOSPublicMeetings.aspx

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