UPDATE: Commissioner Smith’s amendment passed! 1million dollars is added to the budget. Way to go Commissioner Smith! First and Foremost, Congratulations to Commissioner Loretta Smith on her Second Term victory for Multnomah County Commissioner Seat 2!
About 3 weeks ago, Beautiful Black began receiving information regarding Commissioner Smith. Something about 1 million dollars and SEI… Honestly? We were too bogged down to pay the issue much attention. However, after the last contact we decided to look into what all the noise is about. Man, are we glad we did! As far as we can tell the story is simple. It goes a little something like this.
Commissioner Smith. She wants 1 million dollars added to next year’s budget to assist organizations working with non white youth. Simple, right?
Interim Chair Marissa Madrigal. She rejects Commissioner Smith’s proposal . She already put aside, a drop in the bucket as far as county budgets go, $250,000 to aide communities of color.
Here is where it gets good.
Commissioner Smith. $250,000 is NOT enough. In fact, Commissioner Smith requests ongoing funding for these programs. Commissioner Smith is not playing. She presented an amendment to Chair Madrigal’s original budget. The one that rejected Commissioner Smith’s original 1 million dollar proposal. She’s ruffling some feathers…
Filler information. Currently, the county has a budget surplus in excess of 1 million dollars. Given dismal local reports involving non white youth and other factors, Commissioner Smith thinks it makes sense to use this money for youth. Is she wrong? We don’t think so. But she won’t stop there, when she succeeds, she plans to secure more funding from President Barack Obama’s proposed Promise Neighborhoods program.
Here’s the deal. Commissioner Smith must sway at least 2 board members her way. In other words, she needs three votes from the current 5 commissioners for this thing to pass. Right now, the only person to publicly support Commissioner Smith’s amendment is Commissioner Diane McKeel.
It goes down Thursday May 29th, 2014 when the county Board of Commissioners vote on Smith’s amendment. Believe me, no one has to tell us, we’ll be watching…