On Wednesday, July 13, 2011, over 100 New Orleans residents turned out for New Orleans Coalition for Open Governance’s (NOCOG) “Budget Breakdown” event. As part of Alliance Institute’s training and campaign assistance for NOCOG’S engagement of the community in a greater discussion around how criminal justice dollars will be spent, the Budget Breakdown was a huge success.
A wide array of residents participated in the informational training. Also in attendance were various representatives from city council offices, the city’s finance department and the Office of Neigborhood Engagement. Outcomes included a call for more trainings around the city, more transparency and responsiveness from city agencies about the budget process, an increased willingness of the city to work with NOCOG towards a community partnership, and a more informed citizenry who are excited about being engaged in how the city decides to spend its budgeted dollars.
In late August of this year, the Mayor will host district budget meetings to get community input into the budgetary process. The Budget Breakdown event was the first step in making sure that the community is prepared to meaningfully participate in those district meetings.