“The City That Gave Its Residents $3 Million”
“Then [Vallejo, CA. Councilwoman Marti] Brown]had an idea.
Shed read about an experiment in Brazil where a local government allowed its residents to suggest and vote on ideas for how to spend tax dollars. The process, with the clunky name Participatory Budgeting, allowed citizens, rather than politicians, to decide how to spend infrastructure dollars. Would this be a way, she wondered, of making sure Vallejos money would be spent in a way its residents liked?
‘I thought, theres got to be a better way to do budgeting, there needs to be more transparency,’ she said, in an interview. ‘It was a huge part of what helped propel Vallejo toward bankruptcythat financial process is not a transparent process. The public doesnt get to see it, they dont know anything about it,'” quoting Alana Semuels, The Atlantic.
While way too progressive for this Yelm City Council, this IS an innovative idea that got citizens involved in their local government.