The Contra Costa Health Services (CCHS) Developmental Disabilities Council is worth pointing out as an example of what happens when community members and organizations engage the community as partners. The council is a voluntary advisory group that is comprised of families, service providers, clients, and advocates for the disabled. Chaired by a community member, it advises advocates for the needs of the disabled in the community. In 2002, when the state was considering budget cuts for disabled services, the Council rallied the disabled community against the proposed cuts and was able to restore funding for those programs (pg. 6).
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Participatory budgeting is not a new concept, in fact, many cities worldwide have embraced this process in order to create a certain level of civic engagement. Paris, like these other cities, has a formal participatory budgeting website that allows residents to submit projects that are then evaluated by committees. However, they have gone one step further by creating a site that allows for informal idea generation. Launched in 2014, “Lady Mayor, I Have An Idea” promotes civic engagement by giving Paris residents a forum by which they can propose ideas or proposals on a wide variety of topics or campaigns affecting their city. While the ideas are often lacking in details, they provide opportunities for discussion with other Paris residents, council members, experts, etc. It is an example of feedback that eventually leads to interaction when ideas that move forward are discussed in community meetings or co-construction workshops.