In the News

Marin Nonprofits Allotted $2.5M Through Community Participatory Budget Process Using PHI’s HPI Tool

In Marin County, supervisors have authorized $2.5 million in grants to the top vote-getters in the county’s first “participatory budgeting” project. The project used PHI’s Public Health Alliance of Southern California’s Healthy Places Index (HPI) to identify the neighborhoods that are most in need.

  • Marin Independent Journal
screenshot of Marin County using HPI tool

“Marin County supervisors have authorized $2.5 million in grants to the top vote-getters in the county’s first “participatory budgeting” project.

Twenty-four projects received grants ranging from $10,000 to $250,000. The Marin County Office of Equity and a 15-member committee that included community members selected 24 projects from 104 applications submitted.

Marin community members over the age of 14 were allowed to vote in person or online for their top seven choices. Citizenship was not required to vote.  A total of 3,700 ballots were submitted between Oct. 26 and Dec. 29. The top 16 vote-getters received the full amount they requested. The eight projects that attracted the fewest votes received grants of $10,000.

Part of our work was really making sure that we could give as much money as we could to all of the participants,” said Jamillah Jordan, the county’s equity director.

The $2.5 million came from the $50 million that Marin County received as its share of the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, which was passed to support states during the COVID-19 public health emergency.

The grant awards come two weeks after supervisors approved spending $1.7 million over the next three years in an attempt to increase racial equity in the areas of economic opportunity, mental health and housing.

Marin’s participatory budgeting pilot initiative was launched by the county’s Office of Grant of Equity in 2022 to invest in equity-centered projects. The project prioritized grants in western Marin City, San Rafael’s Canal neighborhood and parts of Novato and western Marin, which scored below 70 on a health index created by the Public Health Alliance of Southern California.”

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Originally published by Marin Independent Journal

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