Projects Will Benefit Youth, Elderly on Northwest Side
MILWAUKEE-On October 17th, the African American Roundtable (AART) announced the winners of its $40,000 pilot Participatory Budgeting Program at a community celebration. More than 850 Northwest Side residents voted for the top projects they felt would increase safety and change lives.
Participatory budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a public budget. It gives people real power over real money.
The four projects that received the most votes belonged to Building Youth Opportunities Through Creative and Holistic Initiatives (BYOCHI), Brentwood Church, Korey’s Kids and Vaun Mayes of We Locked In MKE. Here is more information on the entities and how their projects will benefit the Northwest Side.
• BYOCHI is a children’s social club that works to prevent mental health issues and peer pressure through literature and educational programs.
• Brentwood Church will renovate their community church’s kitchen to install industrial equipment so that they can provide weekly meals, recreational, educational, and training activities for older adults on the Northwest Side.
• Korey’s Kids will provide clothing, food, diapers and resources to residents of Milwaukee County through Christmas toy giveaway events, community baby showers and back-to-school events for families.
• Vaun Mayes of We Locked In MKE will host a lock-in for young people where they have access to meals, mentorship, programming, prizes and space to be.
“This has been a truly transformational process,” said Devin Anderson, AART’s Campaign and Membership Director. “I am excited to see these projects come to life. I hope this shows city leadership the possibilities and that they follow our lead and invest in participatory budgeting.”
“I feel so fortunate that our organization listened to the will of the people and established our own Participatory Budgeting Program,” said Markasa Tucker-Harris, AART’s Executive Director. How can we build community safety when our governments refuse to invest in it? We can create programs like this. I look forward to the ripple effect these projects will have on the Northwest Side and in Milwaukee.”
The winners will begin implementing their projects immediately, and AART will share updates on its social media channels and websites as they become available. The organization will continue to rally for participatory budgeting on the local level through its LiberateMKE campaign.
About the African American Roundtable
The African American Roundtable (AART) is an assembly of Milwaukee residents led by and serving the African American community. AART organizes, nurtures, and transforms Black leaders to build power in service of Black liberation. AART is a joyful, political home for Black people to thrive in liberated, interconnected communities. Learn more at liberatemke.com.