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Cities across California are turning to participatory budgeting as communities increasingly focus on economic justice, inequality and defunding the police. CapRadio’s News and Features Editor Pauline Bartolone joins Nicole and Nigel on this week’s episode to talk about participatory budgeting and how Vallejo became the first city in America to adopt the process in 2012.

While the experimental first year generated an outpouring of fresh community project ideas, the city began to push back with more stringent rules the following year. Bartolone tells the story of how Vallejo’s shift in budgeting power became a balancing act, and how potholes, the city’s most popular project, revealed the pros and cons of direct democracy.

Sacramento and Los Angeles will soon adopt participatory budgeting, Bartolone says.

Listen to the “California State of Mind” episode, co-hosted by Nicole Nixon and Nigel Duara, on Apple podcasts, Spotify or wherever you listen to your podcasts. Follow @yourgoldenstate, @CalMatters and @CapRadioNews on Twitter to engage with our show every week and see the top California news of the day.

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Courtney is the marketing coordinator at CalMatters, where she focuses on developing audience relationships. She was an Editor-in-Chief at Cosumnes River College’s student newspaper before transferring...