PBGR announces results of community vote

Published on October 18, 2022

PBGR image with words

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – A dozen community improvement projects across the City’s three wards will soon be funded by $2 million of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. Doug Matthews, assistant city manager, this morning announced the results of the Participatory Budgeting Grand Rapids (PBGR) public vote which took place during Vote Week – September 30 to October 5.

Results showed that 2,081 residents participated in the voting process: 611 ­in the First Ward; 826 ­in the Second Ward; 610 ­in the Third Ward. Most voted through on-site voting locations with 7% voting on a personal device, 10% via a paper ballot and 83% via on-site voting digital. The paper ballots and digital devices were accessible at a library or special event location.

The public vote of projects recommended by the public and finalized by the PBGR Steering Committee Votes by ward took place online at PGRG.org, in-person at all Grand Rapids Public Library sites and at a series of neighborhood events. Residents, 13 years of age and older, were eligible to vote. The graduated ward distribution of funds includes: First Ward - $600,000, Second Ward -$400,000, and Third Ward - $1 million.

Based on the voting results and project rankings using ranked-choice voting methodology, the PBGR Steering Committee formally adopted the following projects (with estimated costs) to advance in the community:

In Ward 1 - $600,000 Total Investment

  1. Affordable Childcare for 2nd and 3rd Shift Workers ($150,000)
  2. Supporting Victims of Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking ($100,000)
  3. Youth Affordable Housing Support ($145,000)
  4. Cleaning Up Grand Rapids ($75,000)
  5. Community Reading Initiative for Violence Reduction ($50,000)
  6. Citizen Advocacy Skills Academy ($80,000*)

*Partially funded (from a requested $100,000) due to reaching total investment limit

In Ward 2 - $400,000 Total Investment

  1. Mental Health Community First Responders ($350,000)
  2. CURE Violence – 2nd Ward ($50,000 PB* + additional possible investment)

*Partially funded (from a requested $250,000) due to reaching total investment limit

In Ward 3 - $1 million Total Investment

  1. Lead Water Line Replacement ($500,000)
  2. Affordable Childcare for 2nd and 3rd Shift Workers ($150,000)
  3. Youth Affordable Housing Support ($145,000)
  4. Community-Based Violence Reduction Initiative ($205,000*)

*Fully funded and $5,000 added to program (from a requested $200,000) due to excess funds in total investment limit

For a list of these projects with descriptions of each, please visit PBGR.org. For the final vote tally, please CLICK HERE.

Matthews said while the public work on choosing which community improvement projects to fund is complete, work will continue this fall on the scoping and development of strategies and/or Requests for Proposals (RFP). The City will host RFP education/training workshops and solicit proposals late this fall. With proposals submitted and reviewed, it hopes to execute agreements with various vendors in mid-2023 or in FY24 budget to make these community ideas a reality.

The PBGR Steering Committee includes: (First Ward) Mallory Patterson, Michael Scholten; (Second Ward) Doug Booth, Lisa Knight, Cailin Kelly; (Third Ward) Kristian Grant, LaKiya Thompson-Jenkins and Pastor Kenneth Hoskins.

The City of Grand Rapids’ participatory budgeting initiative is a democratic process that allows residents the opportunity to help determine how public funds are spent. To learn more about the project, the steering committee, or sign up for the newsletter, please visit www.PBGR.org, instagram.com/PBGrandRapids,  facebook.com/PBGrandRapids and twitter.com/PBGrandRapids.


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