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Better Budget Day Briefing Note: Participatory Budgeting

Idea: Participatory Budgeting   Idea description and case for change Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a well-tested and widely used mechanism for allocating a subset of municipal funds via the direct participation of citizens.  Citizens identify local needs and establish a process for selecting them directly, usually by means of a vote.   PB encourages transparency and discourages the abuse of public spending by openi
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Better Budget Day Briefing Note: Budget as Vision

Idea: Budget as Vision  Idea description and case for change The budget should be much more than an accounting exercise. It should be about the kind of city we want to live in. As arguably the most important policy process in city government, the budget is a good opportunity to create or update a shared vision for the city, as well as a strategy for how city government can help fulfill that vision. What does it mean
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A New Kind Of Community Engagement: Building A Better Budget For Toronto

One of the many items overshadowed by last week’s city council debate about the Scarborough subway were changes to the 2014 budget process. Last January, council asked for a review to make the budget process “more transparent for councillors and the public” (see the original motion here). So what did council change? The approved Staff Report contains three main changes: It adds a little over two weeks to the budget p
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Better Budget Day

Toronto deserves a better budget. The process to determine how the City of Toronto spends public money is often difficult to understand, short-termist, and narrowly focused on bean counting. Too often, public conversation about our city’s budget devolves into a polarized, heated, and uninspiring debate about tax hikes versus service cuts. This obscures the genuine possibility of articulating a civic vision, setting c
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Toronto Budget Mini-Hackathon

Members of Better Budget TO attended a mini-hackathon on the Toronto Budget organized by Gabe Sawhney of Urban+Digital Toronto. The event yielded some promising visualizations and discoveries about the quality of Toronto’s Open Data on the budget. Check out Gabe’s report. Gabe will be playing a key role in Better Budget Day.
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Better Budget TO Community Workshop

On June 27th, 2013, about 20 people participated in a community workshop on Toronto’s budget.  After a short presentation, we broke into three groups, discussing technology, public policy innovation, and citizenship engagement as possible levers to improve the budget process. For a copy of our slide presentation, click here. To see a description of the event posted on the Academy of the Impossible’s site, click here.
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