As we look towards the coming weeks and months, two local governing bodies are undergoing a public budgeting process:
- The Board of Education will be determining the 2019/20 schools budget.
- The city of Jersey City will be determining the 2019 municipal budget.
A key question is: how can taxpayers engage? How can we peel back the layers to better understand how our government is operating, and serving our common interests in community? A budget is one good place to start. How a government spends its money helps gives insight into its priorities.
I recently provided a high level visualization of our public schools budget. In this post, I wanted to share a high level visualization of our city (ie municipal) budget.
Our city government provides a wide array of services. To help others in community engage the budgeting process, I've created a visualization of Jersey City's prior year budgets to give insight into major buckets of spending, and trends over time. I used data from the "User Friendly Budget," which groups buckets of spending into different areas. I should note: this is one of a few views we can and should look at. [A more detailed view can be gleaned from the traditional budget...more to come on that in the weeks ahead.]
Dig into *your* community data! This is open, public data. My hope is that this is used as a civic tool - let's break open the city budget, in community, together. And, let's ask questions of our elected leadership. Every question concerning government spending deserves a straightforward, plain answer.
Our city council's contact information is below. And, if anyone has suggestions on additional visualizations, please contact me at [email protected].