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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Whose Budget is it Anyway? Demystifying the City of Los Angeles Transportation Budgeting Process


The purpose of this research is to investigate the current process through which the City of Los Angeles develops and approves its annual budget, with a particular emphasis on the role of transportation funding within this process. Additionally, the research focuses on ways for community-based organizations to become more effectively involved in the City's budgeting process. The research methods included professional interviews with city staff involved in or knowledgeable on the budgeting process, as well as focus groups with members of community-based organizations interested in potential budget advocacy. The results of the research revealed a much more complex process than the relatively straightforward timeline presented by the City itself. “Transportation” has a complicated role in the budgeting process because it means many different things to many different people. The report concludes with recommendations for community-based organizations to engage most effectively with the City's budgeting process. The report also includes an educational tool to be used by the research client organization (Investing in Place) in future budget advocacy coalition-building endeavors.

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