Councillor Tang and Councillor Knack to Launch Participatory Budgeting Project

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Councillor Tang and Councillor Knack to Launch Participatory Budgeting Project:

Edmonton, AB – Councillors Keren Tang and Andrew Knack are teaming up to launch the City’s first Participatory Budgeting project. This summer, residents and community groups of Ward Karhiio and Ward Nakota Isga, will be invited to help the Councillors decide how to spend part of their ward budgets, by proposing and voting on projects that seed and stimulate improvements at a community-level. The Councillors will host a kick-off public information session online on April 19, 2022 from 5:30-7:30pm. RSVP on Eventbrite

“For the first time, we want to take the budget decision-making process to the streets to seek ideas that can invest these dollars back into our neighbourhoods. This is collective decision-making: communities coming together to share and build upon one another’s ideas such that the end results are far stronger and more thoughtful than a decision made by a single person,” says Keren Tang.

Participatory budgeting is a democratic process in which community members decide how to spend a part of a public budget. It began in Porto Alegre, Brazil back in the ‘80s and is now practiced in communities around the world, from Halifax, to Montréal to New York City. Participatory budgeting processes can deepen democracy, build stronger communities and make public budgeting more equitable and effective.

“Over the years, I’ve met with residents and community groups who have creative ideas to help build a better community and city. Unfortunately, there are times where those ideas have not been able to be implemented because the grants available from the City were not available for that solution. Participatory Budgeting provides another way to bring these unique ideas to life and strengthen the connection within our communities”, says Andrew Knack.

“Unlike a traditional micro-granting process where it is often an adjudication panel that decides which group receives funding, it is community members and applicants themselves who make that decision. Through open dialogue, and transparency of information, people can see each other’s idea submissions, identify areas of shared interest and similar approaches, and find ways to collaborate and synergize, so that limited funding can be amplified for much broader impact”, says Keren Tang.

The Councillors will host several more community workshops this spring and summer to brainstorm and develop projects, and have community members prioritize and vote on their top projects.

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