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Activist to host participatory budgeting event for Grand Rapids' Third Ward

The event will teach people how to develop and submit ideas to the committee. Ideas for the participatory budget must be submitted by May 31.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The city of Grand Rapids has millions of dollars for all the wards in the city. However, there's one ward that needs the community to help come up with ideas as to how to spend that money.

Deandre Jones, an activist in Grand Rapids, said it is important to point out issues plaguing the Third Ward. At the same time, Jones said it is just as important to come up with solutions to solve those problems.

The millions of dollars are part of the Grand Rapids participatory budget, which means the city is allowing the community to decide what happens with that money. It's the first time the city has done a participatory budget.

RELATED: Grand Rapids is letting you decide how to spend $2 million

Jones is hosting a community event with the city of Grand Rapids and some of the committee members of the Third Ward.

The goal is to teach people how to develop and submit ideas to the committee. Jones said the Third Ward desperately needs the investment. So, that is why is his calling on the community to help decide where this money goes.

"So, it's important because this is how we create change," said Jones. "If we want to create systematic change and get our governments to take us serious and understand that we're not just complaining about these problems. We see a need within our communities for different things that we care about, it's a lot of different things that people care about that helps them come together and brings people together."

Jones added there are some people who want to see change. However, they don't know how to make that become a reality. He said at Monday's meeting, they'll teach people how to make their ideas become a reality. Though this event is for the Third Ward, nevertheless, there is money for the other wards in the city as well.

The event will start Monday at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Linc Up, 1167 Madison SE, Grand Rapids.


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