posted by Working Partnerships USA

Thursday, November 29, 2007, at

We've added a Spanish language version of our website at  There is a link to it from the main website as well.


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Mercury News Supports More Inclusive Budget Process

posted by Working Partnerships USA

Wednesday, November 21, 2007, at

We welcome today's acknowledgments by the Mercury News ("Citizen input crucial to fix budget gap") that the answers to San Jose's city budget questions will come from all its people.

From the outset, this has been the Community Budget Working Group's approach to an intelligent and equitable city budget: Involve more San Joseans in the process. We are the people who built this great city -- the brains, builders and financial backers of its success. And we can figure out what we want city government to do and how to pay for it.

The Community Budget Working Group includes labor, business executives and chamber of commerce leaders, faith-based groups, environmental organizations and non-profits. Just as important, it is the only forum in the budget process urging you, the taxpayer, to weigh in with your concerns and your solutions. What do you want from city government, and how much do you value it?

Start by going to and then come to the Working Group's first public meeting at 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Martin Luther King Library downtown. Mayor Reed and the City Council have already said they're interested in what you say to us.


[ Continue reading Mercury News Supports More Inclusive Budget Process ]

Budget Coverage in the Mercury News

posted by Helen Chapman

Monday, November 19, 2007, at

In this morning's Mercury News, reporter John Woolfolk examined broad public dissatisfaction in the City's existing budget proposals. You can read the article at:

This doesn't come as a surprise to those of us who have come together to form the Community Budget Working Group. We came together explicitly because we were concerned about the limited range of voices that were invited to contribute ideas around the City budget.

But the Mercury News missed an exciting development. The community has come together to assure that those voices are heard. We have developed a process that can assure that, as much as possible, San Jose residents can feel confident in how the City is moving forward in the strongest possible way.

As we said in an invitation sent out to folks across the City last week, the City's budget is a complex and organic framework for our neighborhoods and businesses. It is vital that a broad range of voices be heard when considering how it should be developed.

Fortunately, it is not too late to do so. Please visit and get involved. And spread the word.

Helen Chapman is the former Chair of the City of San Jose Parks and Recreation Commission.


[ Continue reading Budget Coverage in the Mercury News ]

Working Group Introduced Before City Advisory Panel, Need For Broad Input Highlighted

posted by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

Friday, November 16, 2007, at

San Jose's economic and social success stems from tapping a diverse group of people for innovative ideas. To that end, the Community Budget Working Group intends to bring a range of voices and ideas on the City budget to the forefront.

Last night, represented by Reymundo Espinoza, CEO of the Gardner Family Health Network, BAYMEC co-founder Wiggsy Sivertsen and myself, the Working Group invited the city committee working on budget issues to participate in the Working Group's Dec. 1 meeting at the Martin Luther King Library at which a wide range of budget ideas will be presented and discussed.

"San Jose has some of the smartest, most innovative people on the planet living within its borders," Reymundo said in his invitation to the Mayor's Budget Shortfall Advisory Group. "What better group to discuss the City budget than those innovators?"

We were among a small group of San Joseans who attended last night's meeting at City Hall where the city's own budget strategies were outlined. Without broad-based input like that which our Working Group will receive at our Dec. 1 public meeting and from our website at - which we will present to city officials early next year - the City's budget analysis will be incomplete.

Please join the process by attending a meeting or submitting your thoughts at


[ Continue reading Working Group Introduced Before City Advisory Panel, Need For Broad Input Highlighted ]

Announcing the Community Budget Working Group

posted by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

Wednesday, November 14, 2007, at

Working Partnerships USA has long advocated for greater involvement of the public in the City's decision-making process. To that end, we are proud to help convene a group that is working to gather broad community input on how to allocate the City of San Jose's resources.

The new Community Budget Working Group, with a steering committee drawn from a wide range of San Joseans, will ensure that when the City Council gets down to budget work, it will have access to all the innovation, spirit and priorities our great community can provide. View the official announcement.

You can weigh in with your budget ideas at the new website and at the Community Budget Working Group's two public meetings. The first of these meetings will be at the Martin Luther King Library at 9:30am, Saturday, Dec. 1. If you would like to attend, please e-mail us. The Group's recommendations will be advised and studied by Applied Development Economics, an independent economic analysis firm.

As the Working Group's efforts progress, we will use this blog to provide updates and information. We hope you will get involved.


[ Continue reading Announcing the Community Budget Working Group ]


posted by Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins

Tuesday, November 13, 2007, at

Greetings, and welcome to Working Partnerships USA's new blog.

Here, we'll be discussing and reporting on issues that affect the working families of Silicon Valley.  Of course, we invite your participation in the discussion. The blog will have regular updates on the Valley economy, commentary from local elected officials and leaders, and provide opportunities for you to get involved in making our communities even stronger.

Please explore our website for more information on who we are and what we do. And stay tuned to the WPUSA blog for more developments on the government accountability, good employment, health care and leadership issues that affect you and your Silicon Valley family.

[ Continue reading Welcome! ]

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