Sunday, February 15, 2015

Be glad you don't live in Portland, OR

I was merrily reading Auditor not happy with city's budget process, hoping to find at least one thing the District of Columbia could take away from the Portland, OR budget process audit (PDF).   I did not expect to read this:
And the audit questioned the value of the extensive public involvement process that includes citizens serving on a variety of budget advisory committees. Although some committee members and bureau managers found their input helpful, others disagreed.

Thinking about DC, I believe the government could be more strategic learning from the public.   I also believe that nonprofits and other community organizations can do a better job of helping the government think through budget priorities and policy changes to ensure budgets achieve the promised goals.

We are lucky in many ways in DC.   Long ago I learned that in some states, you have to be invited to testify.   In others, budget hearings are closed-door affairs.

Mayor Bowser has elevated public input into the development of the budget.   Take advantage.   Learn more about how to tell the mayor what you want to see in the FY 2016 budget.

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