Get involved and have a say in how district capital funds are spent in your community
PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING IN DISTRICT 9 - HALIFAX WEST ARMDALE
In 2016, I campaigned to make Halifax more transparent, accountable, and democratic. In 2017, I brought Participatory Budgeting (PB) to District 9 for this first time ever.
In 2014, Councillors Waye Mason and Jennifer Watts introduced Halifax to PB and implemented it in Districts 7 and 8. Seeing the wonderful results of community engagement and democracy in action, I knew if I was fortunate enough to get elected, District 9 deserved to have the same benefits.
Participatory Budgeting is a process for people in a community to come together and identify and discuss ideas for how available funds could be spent to address issues and concerns or other ways to enhance life in their neighbourhoods. Then, these residents develop and prioritize spending projects, giving them real power to make real decisions about how public money is spent in their community.
Halifax Councillors have access to $94,000 in District Capital Funding annually that can be used to support important community projects throughout the district. These District Capital Funds must be used for capital projects that will benefit the wider community, must be payable to a non-profit organization or can be used to support an unbudgeted Halifax initiative, and must be for projects under the municipal mandate.
PB involves several basic steps:
Community members identify spending priorities
Budget delegates develop specific spending proposals (sometimes with help from experts)
Community members vote on which proposals to fund
The city implements the top proposals
PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING IN 2020
**Due to the COVID-19 crisis, Participatory Budgeting has had to be suspended. As soon as public health allows larger close-contact gatherings, we will be able to resume.
Participatory Budgeting Information Session and Idea Swap Wednesday, April 15th from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Chocolate Lake Recreation Centre This is an evening when everyone is welcome to come discuss priorities and ideas on how to improve District 9. You will also find out more information about how to submit a project proposal.
Proposal Submission Deadline You may email submissions before Midnight, May 15th to Chris Newson at firstname.lastname@example.org Paper submission must be received during business hours on May 24th and can mailed/delivered to: Chris Newson Council Support Office Halifax City Hall 1841 Argyle Street PO Box 1749 Halifax, NS B3J 3A5
Community Vote Wednesday, June 3rd from 6:00-8:00 p.m. (voting ends at 7:30 p.m.) at Bethany United Church, 2669 Joseph Howe Dr District 9 residents of all ages VOTE on their favourite projects in person. That's right. YOU decide which project gets funding. Winners are announced by 8:00 p.m. that evening.
PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING IN 2017, 2018, 2019 In these years, residents and groups gathered at Bethany United Church and Chocolate Lake Recreation Centre to discuss issues, ideas, and suggestions for how to spend District Capital Funds. Great proposals were submitted in both years. In our first year, over 140 residents gathered at Bethany United Church to view the proposals and cast a vote for the top choices. In 2017, 2018, and 2019, the following successful projects have been approved:
MusicIQ software and piano equipment for the Boys & Girls Club
New Playground equipment for Whimsical Lake playground (on Mabou Ave)
Dugout awnings for Larry O'Connell Field (put forward by Halifax Minor Baseball)
Updated Outdoor Community Sign in front of Bethany United Church
Chebucto Heights Elementary playground equipment for younger ages
Community walkway and garden at Chebucto Heights elementary
Tupper school playground improvements
(The above projects are at various stages of planning or completion.)