Mayor’s Community Budget Day opportunity

BudgetLA April 2011

When you hear someone talk about the City budget, do you yawn as your eyes start rolling to the back of your head? What could be more boring than the issue of the budget? You are not alone. Talking about the City budget at first blush seems uninteresting and mundane….until you realize that budgets are about the money that makes services possible.

What money? What services?

To find out, come to the Mayor’s Community Budget Day on Saturday, November 17 th, from 8:00am – 12:00 noon at City Hall, 200 N. Spring Street. RSVP at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MCB_Day_2012 or by calling 213-978-1551.

Even in times of plenty, when revenues are increasing faster than expenditures, it’s not simple putting together a budget with all the various interests clamoring for their share of the pie. But in times like these, with shrinking or stagnating revenues and built-in increasing costs, creating a balanced budget is a great challenge. Do you cut program “A” that is loved by certain folks or do you cut program “B” which is loved by other folks, who by the way think that it should be getting more funding, not less? Or, do you try to raise revenue? If so, from where and from whom?

In our representative democratic system, our elected officials have the responsibility to make the final decisions, but we can and should weigh in. Our voices are strongest when we have the most people engaged, and when we’re well-informed and educated on the issues. Believing in the importance of engagement, the Mayor’s Office, the Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, and the current year Neighborhood Council Budget Advocates are organizing this year’s Mayor’s Community Budget Day. You can attend either as a stakeholder or as one of the two designated Budget Representatives from your Neighborhood Council. In addition, you can choose to run to become your region’s Neighborhood Council Budget Advocate. Click here for details or email Joe at joseph.hari@lacity.org.

By attending Budget Day, you will get more informed about the City budget. In the meantime there are other ways for getting informed. We all get news from various sources. News can come through chatting at the workplace water cooler, from online blogs, or from more traditional sources such as newspapers. Wherever it comes from, getting accurate information about the state of our City is important. Belonging to a Neighborhood Council, you have access to a direct source– the decision-makers themselves. Along those lines, we encourage you to take a look at the memo that the Mayor wrote to the City Council a couple of weeks ago regarding the financial status of the City. It addresses the steps that the City has taken in the last few years to reach balanced budgets, the significant challenges that lie ahead, and potential actions to help. Click here for the memo.

Become informed. Become involved. Become empowered. Attend the Mayor’s Community Budget Day on November 17th. RSVP now.

Thank you.

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