Residents invited to participate in Jackson budgeting process

The Jackson People’s Assembly in partnership with the City of Jackson is launching the City of Jackson’s first participatory budgeting process open to all residents to share their budgeting recommendations on July 20, 2019 at Redeemer Church, 640 E. Northside Drive in Jackson, from 10 AM to 3 PM. 

Participatory budgeting is a process where residents democratically decide how to allocate and spend a public budget.  All residents are invited to participate in the process that will take place in the form of a game and ideas share to help residents explore options and develop recommendations based on budget parameters and their own vision of a thriving Jackson.

Says Jackson resident Sylvia "Tricey" Anderson, “It is important for people to attend the assembly so they can be informed about what is going on with the budget.  People say that what you don't know won't hurt you. When I attended an earlier meeting, I found out how not knowing CAN hurt you. People think Jackson has the money to fix the streets, handle the water and the like but it does not. It is very important to participate and find out what is really going on.”

The Mayor’s Office recognizes the importance of opening its budgeting process to include residents’ recommendations in the development of the 2020 City of Jackson Budget.  Says Mayor Lumumba, “We must view the City’s budget as a moral document that expresses who we are as a city. Therefore, the people’s voice must be incorporated in the process. We must move from a place where we find value in the things in which we fund, to a place where we fund what we collectively value.”

Dr. Ivory Phillips, a retired professor of Jackson State University and founding member of the Coalition for Economic Empowerment, sees participatory budgeting as a milestone for Jackson.  “This is an important and progressive step. More people involved will make it more representative of the community.”

On July 20th, residents will engage in a day long community budgeting process facilitated in part by Dr. Robert Blaine, Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Jackson.  Residents will learn how the city budget works and hear about the current city budget priorities. Residents will then engage in an exploratory process to share their budget priorities as well as ideas on where monies should be allocated for 2020.

“When Chokwe Antar Lumumba ran, he said, ‘When I become mayor, you become mayor!’  Well, this is part of his follow-through on that promise,” says Dr. Scott M. Crawford.  “We, the citizens, get to play a vital role in how the budget is developed and how our money is spent, and on what.  Don’t miss your chance to get involved and have your voice heard. Take ownership of YOUR city.”

The recommendations provided by residents will be considered with City Directors’ budget recommendations in the development of the Mayor’s budget recommendations to the City Council at the end of July. This will be the first time in the history of Jackson that residents’ recommendations are taken into consideration in the development of the City Budget.

Says People’s Assembly member Catherine Robinson, “The People’s Assembly is committed to ensuring that resident voices - especially Jacksonians who are often not at the table - our neighbors who are in need of support, our elders, our youth, our folk who are differently abled, etc. [are heard] because this is what this process is about: hearing from all of us.”

“This is a family friendly event and all residents of Jackson are encouraged to attend, including young people, immigrant community members, and our community members that have been denied the right to vote because of their former incarceration.  Every Jacksonian’s voice matters in creating a better quality of life for us all,” says People’s Assembly co-chair Rukia Lumumba.

Lunch will be provided. Childcare and transportation assistance are available. Please rsvp at jacksonpeoplesassembly@gmail.com.   For more information on the Jackson People’s Assembly, please visit us online at. www.jxnpeoplesassembly.org

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