Biggest turnout yet for District 7’s 4th annual participatory budgeting vote
Six projects received full funding & one more receive partial funding
Halifax NS, June 1, 2016 – Hundreds of residents of Halifax South Downtown came out tonight to vote in the forth annual participatory budget vote. Residents were asked to pick which citizen-led initiatives should receive capital investments from the District 7 capital fund.
The vote comes the same day as an article published by Next City (a nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire social, economic and environmental change in cities) which cites evidence showing “participatory budgeting reaches historically disenfranchised neighbors” while also saying “the most important impact, that cultivating of democracy and citizenship, remains something that can’t be captured by any indicator.”
“People were lined up out the door at the 6pm start time” said Waye Mason, Councillor for District 7. “Residents brought family and friends to come out and determine what was projects were important to them.”
Eligible projects were present for a science fair style event where residents of District 7 could ask questions before voting on no more and no less than five projects. This year 360 residents cast a ballot, up from 335 in 2015, 260 in 2014 and 120 in 2013.
Full funding was provided to the Common Link Association – $10,000.00 for connecting greenspaces in the downtown; Partners for Care / Common Roots Urban Farm – $3,500.00 for tags and signage; Gorsebrook Junior High H&S – $10,000.00 for exterior mural; Inglis Street Elementary School PTA – $10,000.00 to help fund an accessible playground; Brunswick Street United Church & the Halifax Music Coop $10,000 for washroom upgrade; Halifax Cycling Coalition $3,669.00 – for Seasonal On Street Bike Racks. Partial funding was provided to Saint Mary’s Elementary School with $7664 for parkland upgrades.
“As always, we heard that it was hard for residents to chose five projects, because all the projects were all very good, but in the end the residents made their wishes clear” Mason said.
Proposals will now be vetted by HRM staff and pending policy and due diligence by staff organizations should receive their funding in six to eight weeks.