Jerome Rasberry Jr.: It wasn’t a slush fund, it was help for our neighborhoods

Re “Debate gets heated as Merced County leaders vote to end controversial funds” (Front page, Sept. 13): So, why now? Why did some members of the Merced County Board of Supervisors do away with the program that would have given real people real power in how money is spent?
Maybe the politicians didn’t want to share power. Maybe they think they always know best. By getting rid of participatory budgeting, some supervisors think they got rid of a “slush” fund, but all they did is exclude people from the process of democracy.
Participatory budgeting had a steering committee and a plan was already in place to ensure transparency, provide accountability and empower people to create projects that would have improved their neighborhoods. People know better than politicians what they need to create healthier communities and help all Merced communities rise. Elected officials need to listen.
Read it in the Merced Sun-Star: