Image via the Atlanta City Council.
The Atlanta City Council’s Finance/Executive Committee is holding a work session tomorrow, Tuesday, April 30 at 11 a.m., to discuss an ordinance introduced by Amir Farokhi that would institute a “participatory budgeting” (PB) program in Atlanta.
Simply put, PB sets aside a portion of the city’s budget to be divided among it’s 12 districts, according to council materials. Residents are then asked to propose ideas for local projects to be funded by these funds, which are then voted on. Ideally, the winning project or projects are implemented within 12-18 months after the voting period ends.
“PB exists in cities big and small across the country and around the world,” Farokhi said in a statement. “They each have their own approaches but they all promote citizen engagement, improve outcomes for residents, and build trust in government. I’m hoping we can build a program worthy of Atlanta.”
The informal information session is open to the public, city officials and council members, and will feature two guests – Jillian Johnson, mayor pro tempore of Durham, N.C., and Carlos Menchace, a councilmember from New York City – two communities where PB programs are already in place, according to council materials. The session will be held in Committee Room 1 at Atlanta’s City Hall.