File photo from the 2020 Eureka Street Art Festival.

Participatory budgeting is a hot new municipal trend in which a citizens’ committee is given a pot of money to spend as it sees fit, in order to improve a community or neighborhood. You might remember how Arcata employed it in the last budget year to fund some beautification projects in Valley West.

Well, the city of Eureka set aside $75,000 of this year’s budget for a similar program in that town. To briefly summarize: Up to 10 citizens from each of the city’s wards will be appointed to a study group that will make recommendations on how to best spend $15,000 on small, community-improving projects in each ward. And each of the (up to) 50 community members so chosen are offered a $100 stipend for their labors.

Interested? Here are the full details in a press release from the City of Eureka:

The City of Eureka will launch a process known as participatory budgeting in which community members decide how to spend $75,000 allocated by the Council during the City’s budget process. Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend a portion of a public budget.

A collaborative process of three meetings will be held over the coming weeks as outlined below:

  • October 25th – Meeting #1 5:30-7:30 PM via Zoom (Review of Strategic Vision & Budgeting process and initial brainstorming of ideas in five city ward breakouts)
  • November 7th – Meeting #2 via Zoom (Develop project ideas in five city ward breakouts)
  • December 15th – Meeting #3 in Person (Project presentations, feedback, and decision making)

Complete description of the proposed schedule is included in the Participatory Budget Guidelines attached.

Each participant is eligible to receive $100 stipend for participating.

Interested residents need to fill out and send an expression of interest form (attached) which will be reviewed by individual councilmembers who will select up to ten individuals from each of their wards.

Participants must participate in all three meetings to receive the stipend and to be part of the final decision-making process on December 15, 2022.

Information is also available on the City’s Website at