Are you interested in the 2013 New Orleans city budget? Do you want to be able to provide input on your community’s priorities, and get clear information regarding how money will be allocated for programs, and how success will be measured at the end of the year? NOLA CPP, along with several of our New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance partners, is launching the Budgeting for Democracy campaign in order to increase resident engagement in the budget process.
City Council will soon begin hosting their annual Budget Hearings, but we believe that the structure of the hearings make it very difficult for residents to attend, voice their ideas and concerns and get on the record. Currently, meetings begin at 10:00am, when most people are at work, and do not have a defined schedule that states what items will be discussed when. Moreover, the actual amounts allocated for programs within specific department remain vague and undefined, and performance measures are often not directly related to the programs they are meant to measure.
With that in mind, Budgeting for Democracy has just launched an online petition to try and change the City Council’s process in order to maximize citizen participation and engagement. We are asking for four changes to the City Council budgeting process:
1. Start budget hearings held during the workweek no earlier than 5:00 p.m.
2. Provide a detailed agenda that includes time frames for each topic.
3. Provide an itemized list of staff salaries (classified and unclassified).
4. Set performance measurements that align with the identified budget priorities.
You can sign on to our petition at: https://www.change.org/petitions/new-orleans-city-council-change-the-budgeting-process. And if you are interested in providing NOLA CPP and the Budgeting for Democracy team your input on how the City decides to allocate money for 2013, please contact us. We will be recording and transcribing individual’s input and taking it with us to City Council for the hearings, and would be glad to make sure your voice is heard.
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