California’s legacy of white supremacy continues to exacerbate disparities that devastate communities of color. Californians of color are less likely to have access to early childhood education programs, have health insurance, own a home, vote, and feel safe in their neighborhood. They are more likely to live below the poverty line, be incarcerated, experience higher rates of infection or hospitalization from COVID-19, live near environmental hazards, and give birth to children with low birth weights.
These disadvantages are not coincidences. Instead, they result from a long history of racist policies and practices and largescale structural factors that disproportionately harm people of color.
Participatory budgeting (PB) is a potentially powerful tool for combating factors that drive racial inequities, empowering underrepresented communities, and advancing racial justice.