The goal of the People’s Budget Campaign effort is to transform how the budget gets prepared and paid for in our city. Our approach is based on the human rights principles of universality, equity, accountability, transparency and participation. The budget process has to start with people’s participation and an assessment of our fundamental needs, then seek to fund the services required to meet those needs.
Right now, the budget process starts when the oligarchy makes proposals based on how much revenue they estimate is available. With the People’s Budget in place, the budget process would begin with direct public participation in regional community meetings. The proposals that come out of those public meetings would then inform budget work in the city council and Mayor’s office. In short, Seattle would end the backwards approach to budgeting and focus on people rather than money.
The change we expect to see through our campaign is profound: a pioneering model for meaningful public participation and a shift in budget and revenue policy toward addressing people’s needs in a way that advances dignity and equity.
Inspired by activists in Vermont- read more at http://www.workerscenter.org/peoples-budget-campaign