County supervisors to hold listening sessions on county funding priorities

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Diane Sieker photo

RIVERSIDE COUNTY – The Riverside County Board of Supervisors will hold listening sessions, Tuesday, Oct. 6, from 5:30-8 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the County Administrative Center, 4080 Lemon St., in Riverside for the community on county services and budget priorities, including public safety, behavioral health and social services.

The listening sessions will also be livestreamed from the clerk of the board’s Facebook page and at https://livestream.com/rivcolive.

The events will provide an opportunity for residents to share impacts and difficulties resulting from the coronavirus pandemic, ranging from loss of employment to in-person school closures, as well as lived experiences with systemic racism and social injustice that impacts healthy communities.

“We have heard from the public loud and clear that they seek to have a voice in the county’s budgeting process, including how to further fund social services,” V. Manuel Perez, board chair and 4th District supervisor, said. “We have also heard loud and clear that the public seeks to have a voice in how our county will fight against systemic racism. The listening sessions will allow for an inclusionary process and that is why I wholeheartedly agree.”

The county is partnering with the School of Public Policy at the University of California Riverside to prepare a report identifying and discussing the main, recurring themes and topics emerging from the listening sessions. The report will inform county officials as they shape the county’s organization, budget and services for the next year and beyond.

“Our school is excited to work with the county of Riverside on this important and timely initiative,” Anil Deolalikar, founding dean of the University of California Riverside School of Public Policy, said. “Our public policy faculty and students, who already partner extensively with county agencies on several policy initiatives, look forward to further engagement as the county develops informed policy solutions to the multiple crises now confronting our region.”

The board will discuss the next steps following the listening sessions Tuesday, Nov. 10, during its regularly scheduled board meeting. The board unanimously approved the series of listening sessions Aug. 4, the same day it approved a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis.

Parking is available in the public parking structure in front of the building for a fee. Additional street parking or in-structure parking is available in the downtown area for posted fees.

Submitted by Riverside County.