For four years now I have been leading the charge to bring the international city practice known as Participatory Budgeting(PB) to every ward in Toronto. Residents get together to brainstorm ideas, put them on a ballot and then vote on their favourite projects. Whether it’s a project to improve pedestrian safety or beautify our parks, PB proves that when we let residents and staff develop the ballot and put it to a vote, they always get it right. Moreover, it encourages city staff to do a better job of hearing residents and getting the implementation right.
Many PB projects are installed or underway. As Toronto moves from ward councillors that serve up to 70,000 residents to a new governance model of 25 super-wards serving 120,000 each, Participatory Budgeting will become the most important engagement tool of all. Deciding where your tax dollars go is the most important engagement between a councillor and her residents. I will continue to use PB processes with residents in the new Ward 17, Don Valley North and work to see it implemented across the city.
Read my E-Blast from August 30th- Real Money, Real Power, You Decide