Community Investments Division

The City of Seattle is embarking on a participatory budgeting process to give real people real power over how the City spends its budget. Born from the summer protests of 2020 after the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, the City's participatory budget addresses the need to divest from police funding and invest that funding directly into the community.

Participatory budgeting deepens democracy, builds stronger communities, increases civic engagement, and creates more equitable distribution of resources. The goal of the participatory budgeting process is to address the immediate needs of community as well as long-term goals by reducing police violence, reducing crime, and creating true community safety. Through participatory budgeting, we aim to address the deepest needs in our communities through community-led programs and new investments, to address disproportionate racial impacts of City programs and policies on people of color, especially Black people, and ensure City resources go where they will have the greatest impact.

The Community Investments Division within SOCR is a new department division to support the development, implementation, and management of the participatory budgeting process. The Community Investments Division seeks to make systemic impacts through community partnerships and innovative City investments that ultimately lead to institutional transformation in the way the City budgets and invests in Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. They develop Requests for Proposals, contract with organizations, manage the contract deliverables, oversee the evaluation of the process, and make recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on the continuous improvement of the City's participatory budgeting process.

With over $25 million of the City's budget allocated for this participatory budgeting process, this will be one of the largest participatory budget undertakings in the nation.

Meet the Division's Staff

Headshot for John Page.

John Page

(He/Him)
Community Investments Manager

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John is an anti-racist community organizer and organizes with the People's Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), the Village of Hope, and the Black Prisoners Caucus. He has worked as a Strategic Advisor in the Seattle Office for Civil Rights for 3 years leading and working with other City departments on community centered funding processes. Before he came to SOCR, John held staff positions with Puget Sound Sage, Fair Work Center, and Social Justice Fund NW. His life and work is grounded in a spirit of learning and guided by recovery and PISAB's anti-racist principles. He has two sons and often speaks passionately about jazz music, Prince, and Meshell Ndegeocello. 

Headshot for Mano da Silva.

Emanuel "Mano" da Silva

(He/Him)
Community Investments Strategic Advisor

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Mano was born in Namibia to Angolan refugee parents. He moved to the US at age 6 and grew up in St. Louis, MO. In 2008, he moved to Seattle and worked at Downtown Emergency Service Center for five years where he also served as a shop steward. During his MSW program at the University of Washington, Mano began student organizing with various campus groups and unions. At the end of his graduate program, Mano continued organizing with Got Green's Young Leaders and came on staff with Freedom Project. Mano had been on staff at Social Justice Fund for nearly five years and has focused his work on creating sustainable anti-racist development strategies. He is excited to join the Office for Civil Rights.

Headshot for Jacky Lu.

Jacky Lu

(He/Him)
Community Investments Administrative Specialist III

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Jacky Lu, Asian American, is the Administrative Specialist III for the Community Investments division at the Seattle Office for Civil Rights. He graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in Psychology and minor in Philosophy in 2018. He has had the pleasure of working with the Seattle Office for Civil Rights for nearly two years at the front desk, and is excited to expand his role in supporting the office, the new division, and to learn new things. He especially enjoys being in the background supporting the work of others while also building lasting relationships.

Jacky grew up in Seattle and has lived here his entire life. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, reading manga, playing games (PC and board games), and occasionally enjoying the many hikes of WA State.