2 thoughts on “Key Decisions Loom for Citywide Effort to Involve Residents in Budget Decisions

  1. PB sounds good but it’s absurd to open it to non-citizens and children age 11. I’m confused about how this new version of PB will work. Is there going to be one large city-wide PB allocation that the entire city can vote on or will each of the 51 Council Districts receive an individual PB allocation that only those who live in the district can vote on? I prefer the latter scenario.

  2. I was involved in the Participatory Budgeting process in Queens for two cycles.

    My experience about the process is very positive. City residents were very interested in the process and the number of people who voted had increased with added publicity. And, using the adage that “involvement equals commitment” expanding this process has the potential for really positive results.

    One suggestion would be to place some parameters on the percentage of dollars that supports any single agency. Otherwise, support for school items will suck up a disproportionate share of the funds. Schools are, obviously, very important and a primary concern for all residents. However, DOE has a budget of $25,600,000,000 and one would think that it should be able to fund its own participatory programs. I would recommend that at least 60% of the funds should be reserved for non-school related funding. This would ensure that parks, safety and other quality of life items receive a proportion of funding.

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