Part of the Bay Area News Group

Don’t like Arnold’s budget? Write your own.

By Josh Richman
Friday, May 25th, 2007 at 9:12 am in Arnold Schwarzenegger, Assembly, California State Senate, General, Jane Brunner, Nancy Nadel, Oakland, Oakland City Council, Sacramento.

So you think you’ve got a better plan for the state budget than Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Legislature?

Well, it’s time to put the state taxpayers’ money where your mouth is.

Next Ten, a Palo Alto-based, nonpartisan group trying to engage Californians in their state’s future, will hold a town hall meeting from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday at the Oakland Museum, 100 Oak St., at which participants can develop their own state budget.

Participants will use keypads to vote on state policies including education, taxes, healthcare, the environment, the criminal justice system and more, factoring them all through Next Ten’s Budget Challenge online tool. The resulting budget plan will be delivered to the Legislature as it grapples with the governor’s May budget revision, providing lawmakers with insight into voters’ priorities.

Those at the meeting also will hear from speakers including former state Finance Department Director Tim Gage; Oakland Vice Mayor Jane Brunner; Oakland City Councilwoman Nancy Nadel; and Next Ten founder and venture capitalist F. Noel Perry. League of Women Voters members, educators, civic organization leaders, local politicians and community members have been invited, but it’s open to the public.

To RSVP and reserve a seat, e-mail rsvp@nextten.org or call 650-321-5417.

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