Thank you to everyone who came out to our Budget Summit last month! After some serious bean counting, the results are in and we have a report showing you how your fellow New Orleanians chose to spend their red beans. If you couldn’t make it, here’s a break down of what participants received:
- 500 red beans– one for each $1 million in the City of New Orleans’s proposed general fund for 2015.
- Rules of the Game. Some things HAVE to be funded, whether we like it or not. Everyone had to spend 3 beans on the Orleans Parish Prison Consent Decree, 11 beans on the New Orleans Police Department Consent Decree, 4 beans in for Office of the Inspector General (a requirement of the NOPD Consent Decree) and 9 beans on the New Orleans Fireman’s Pension Fund.
- Consequences. We passed out a sheet with a breakdown of the city departments that receive general fund dollars and an explanation of what could happen if they were under funded. Think the Department of Miscellaneous is an easy place to cut funds? Guess what? That’s major funding for the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), the Council on Aging, and Public Defender’s Office. We tried to give folks an idea of why each department is important to the functions of our city.
- Priority Sheets: What do you want those beans to fund the most? For example, spending a few extra beans on the NOPD doesn’t just mean putting more cops on the street– it can mean funding for better community relations. We wanted people to have the chance to tell us exactly what they wanted to see their tax dollars spent on.
- Surveys: We asked folks what departments they felt were over funded or underfunded in the current budget. How do they feel about our current budget process?
And the results? Here’s a quick breakdown, but check out PeoplesBudgetSummitReport2014 to learn more:
- Better spending for Children and Families
- Less spending on Public Safety
- Overall, residents are not happy with the current budget process and do not feel involved