Jersey City Announces Plan To Involve Residents In Budgeting Process

Mayor Fulop Unveils Participatory Budgeting Pilot Program to Directly Involve Residents in Jersey City’s Spending Decisions 

Community-driven Ideas Converted into Concrete Proposals, Promoting Transparency and Accessibility 

JERSEY CITYMayor Steven M. Fulop announces the launch of a participatory budget pilot program to directly involve residents in the City’s spending decisions.  The participatory budget creates a transparent process where residents decide which community projects and initiatives they want to see funded.  Each ward will vote on residents’ ideas and determine how the money to spend.

“This participatory budget will take our efforts in fiscal responsibility a step further by encouraging residents to get directly involved in the budgeting process to promote transparency, accessibility, and community engagement,” said Mayor Fulop.  “Our goal is to fund community projects that we know our residents want and need for the betterment of the neighborhood, whether that’s a new playground, afterschool programs, or similar community initiative.”

The online submission process involves answering three prompted questions on how the project will benefit the community and its location.  Residents are also encouraged to submit pictures to support their proposal further.  Get creative!

The City departments will then assist with consolidating similar ideas and further developing them by assigning appropriate scopes, timelines, and costs.  In addition to idea submissions, the pilot program will allow for more shared context as to how the municipal budget works, how much things cost, and what lies within the City’s range versus other government entities, such as the County and State.

“Following the announcement of a participatory budget pilot program during Mayor Fulop’s State of the City address, which was just released virtually, we will be offering a virtual tutorial as well as hard-copy educational materials ahead of the voting period for residents who want to participate,” said Barkha Patel, Assistant Business Administrator. “This new program is meant to help educate the public on the budgetary process, which can often be difficult, and empower residents to be actively involved in the process using convenient and easy-to-use technology.

“Technology is a key component to increasing participation in local government, and this community budget pilot will be a platform to amplify local voices,” said Andrew Hitti, System Analyst. “The more context we all share on how things work, the easier it is to solve problems together.”

To encourage residents to get involved, the City is offering an online tutorial on the website at www.jcnj.org/budget to explain how the participatory budget works and the easy-to-follow steps to nominate projects for up to $50,000 in funding to start.

“This community-driven program is multifaceted, and one of our main goals is to act as an entry point for residents to get involved and develop a deeper understanding of the process,” concluded Mayor Fulop.

The City will host live virtual tutorials on March 15th and March 17th starting at 6:30 p.m., accessible through the program’s website.  Recordings of the virtual tutorials will be made available following each event.

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