How does Jersey City Spend Its Money? A Data Visualization of Budgets from 2015-2018

As we look towards the coming weeks and months, two local governing bodies are undergoing a public budgeting process:

  1. The Board of Education will be determining the 2019/20 schools budget.
  2. 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].

City Representatives:

Mayor Steven Fulop

(201) 547-4288

[email protected]

Council President - Rolando R. Lavarro, Jr.

(201) 547-5268

[email protected]

Aide: Talita Elizeu

[email protected]

(201) 547-5458

Councilwoman at Large - Joyce E. Watterman

(201) 547-5134/5108

[email protected]

Aide: Kia Deadwyler

[email protected]

(201) 547-5108

Councilman at Large - Daniel Rivera

(201) 547-5319

[email protected]

Aide: Kevin Duron

(201) 547-5363

[email protected]

Ward A Councilwoman - Denise Ridley

(201) 547-5098/5060

[email protected]

Aide: Barbara Stamato

[email protected]

(201) 547-5060

Neighborhood: Greenville

Ward B Councilwoman - Mira Prinz-Arey

(201) 547-5092/5101

[email protected]

Aide: Lekendrick Shaw

[email protected]

(201) 547 5101

Neighborhood: West Side

Ward C Councilman - Richard Boggiano

(201) 547-5159/5172

[email protected]

Aide: Angelica Sanchez

[email protected]

(201) 547-5172

Neighborhood: Journal Square

Ward D Councilman - Michael Yun

(201) 547-6817

[email protected]

Aide: Vernon Richardson

[email protected]

(201) 547-6817

Neighborhood: Heights

Ward E Councilman - James Solomon

(201) 547-5315

[email protected]

Aide: Laura Bustamante

[email protected]

(201) 547- 5283

Neighborhood: Downtown

Ward F Councilman - Jermaine D. Robinson

(201) 547-5338/5361

[email protected]

Aide: Asheenia Johnson

[email protected]

(201) 547-5361

Neighborhood: Bergen-Lafayette

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