You Asked, We Got The Answer

“Is Celebrate Natomas dead this year? What gives?” -Ana Sandoval via Facebook
Michelle Kille, Director of Public Policy for Councilmember Angelique Ashby, answers:
“The decision to discontinue the Celebrate Natomas Festival was a difficult one. As you may know, in June the city council made the decision to funnel a large portion of their discretionary accounts back into the General Fund in order to help with the city’s budget deficit.”
“The impact is different for each councilmember, but for Angelique, this means a 60 percent reduction to her discretionary funds. After weighing out the current financial status of the city and the District One discretionary accounts, Angelique felt that those funds that would have been used towards the Celebrate Natomas Festival could help maintain some services within the community that would have otherwise been cut entirely.”
“Donations out into the community have included: Lights of Tomorrow, Stanford Settlement, The Greenhouse Project, bicycle helmet and safety donations, school fundraisers, and a number of youth sports groups such as soccer, football, cheer, baseball, and softball. She also has donated to some very unique programs as well. For example, in June, Angelique heard from a number of parents that one of the most popular summer programs offered for kids in the district was going to be cut from the city’s programming. In response, Angelique used over $10,000 of her own discretionary funding to reinstate the program for the 2011 summer season. The eight-week program has been extremely successful with 140 kids from District One registered.”

“Additionally, after meeting with our Department of Utilities, she learned that they would not be able to hire on the same number of student interns as they had in past years. Angelique provided them with $3,000 in order to hire on a young woman from Natomas High School, Linda, who is now working in the lab. She also donated $1,500 of discretionary funding to save the Senior Project program at Inderkum High School, which was set to be eliminated from the Natomas Unified School District budget due to lack of funding.”

“As you can see, Angelique has really focused the District discretionary funds on programs, opportunities and partnerships for our youth. With the severe cuts to discretionary accounts and the budget, a number of community groups are going to feel an impact in coming years since Angelique won’t be able to donate as much as in past years.”

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