From Ranata Reeder, an update on the City of Greensboro first Participatory Budgeting process. See her first post.
In April, the last step in neighborhoods choosing particular spending priorities was conducted. Before I reveal the outcome of the vote, it is important to see the whole process of local government budget outreach.
In August 2015, the City of Greensboro embarked on its first Participatory Budgeting process. Not only was this a first for Greensboro, it is the first Participatory Budgeting process in the south. Greensboro officially made it to the PB map!
Greensboro residents proposed ideas, developed proposals, and voted on how to spend $100,000 in each of Greensboro’s five city council districts, totaling $500,000.
Beginning in October 2015 and ending in December 2015, Greensboro residents submitted ideas for improvements they wanted to see in their communities. 675 ideas were submitted!
Volunteer budget delegates and facilitators worked with City of Greensboro staff from December 2015 – March 2016 to narrow the idea list of 675 to 50 projects proposals Greensboro could vote on across its five districts. Budget delegates worked and proposed projects within five categories: arts & culture, special projects, parks & recreation, safety & environment, and streets, sidewalks, & transportation. Projects costs ranged from $300 to $100,000.
Over 1,100 Greensboro residents came out to vote over a two-week period in April. Residents age 14 and older were eligible to vote. These voters selected 30 winning projects, including a city-wide bus tracking mobile application, as improvements they wanted to see implemented. Top vote getters centered on:
- Street improvements,
- Park and recreation center updates, and
- Public art.
All winning projects were included in the city manager’s recommended budget. The Greensboro City Council will vote on the FY 2016-2017 budget in June 2016.