About Voice of the Citizen
The Voice of the Citizen (VOC) series is a tool used by the City to reach out to residents for their input when it comes to issues that matter to them, like the budget and public safety. In 2013, Mayor Richards held two VOC series that generated ideas on filling the budget gap and on reducing violence.
Voice of the Citizen: Budgeting for Public Safety
The information gathered during the 2013 VOC sessions resulted in the Mayor's decision to bring citizens directly into the budgeting process. To that end, Mayor Richards set aside $200,000 in the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget for "citizen budgeting": a process that will allow residents to transform their ideas into projects or investments aimed at improving public safety in neighborhoods.
The timeline below outlines how the City will facilitate its first ever citizen budgeting process.
Cycle One: VOC Meetings Were Held (August to September 2013)
- One VOC meeting was held in each quadrant. All meetings were at 6 p.m.
- Northwest: Monday, August 26, Edgerton Community Center, Stardust Ballroom, 41 Backus Street
- Southeast: Wednesday, September 4, Thomas P. Ryan Community Center, 530 Webster Avenue
- Southwest: Thursday, September 5, Danforth Community Center, 200 West Avenue
- Northeast: Monday, September 16, Carter Street Community Center, 500 Carter Street
- Residents met to brainstorm and develop project ideas and priorities
- Residents signed up to volunteer to serve as a delegate on quadrant's Action Plan Committee
- Residents voted on top project ideas that moved on to Cycle Two.
- Cycle One meeting results:
Cycle Two: Delegates Attended Action Plan Meetings (September to November 2013)
- Action Plan meetings were held in each quadrant
- Delegates transformed project ideas into full action plan proposals
- City staff provided technical and legal assistance
- City staff began to develop a ballot for quadrant-based project voting
Cycle Three: Voting (December 2-16, 2013)
- Residents will vote for selected projects in their quadrant.
- Paper ballots will be made available at City facilities and online voting will be available on the City's website.
- Learn more about voting below.
Cycle Four: Project Implementation (January to June 2014)
- City carries out the elected projects; or
- City facilitates procurement of organizations/vendors to carry out the elected project
Learn More about the Process
Voting takes place Dec. 2-16. There are two ways to vote: in person during business hours at the City facilities listed below, and online.
Here are the rules:
- All residents of the respective quadrant, age 16 and up may vote.
- Commercial properties are allowed one vote per address located in the quadrant.
- You can only vote ONCE.
- You can only vote for one (1) project.
NORTHEAST QUADRANT BALLOT
NORTHWEST QUADRANT BALLOT
SOUTHEAST QUADRANT BALLOT
SOUTHWEST QUADRANT BALLOT
Vote in Person at a City Facility
Ballots for ALL quadrants are available during the normal business hours at the following sites:
- City Hall, 30 Church St., Communications Bureau, room 202A
- Central Library, 115 South Ave.,
- Recreation Administration Building, 400 Dewey Ave. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ballots for the NORTHWEST quadrant are available at:
Ballots for the SOUTHWEST quadrant are available at:
Ballots for the NORTHEAST quadrant are available at:
Ballots for the SOUTHEAST quadrant are available at:
Check the map to find out what quadrant you reside in.
Call 311 for more information (outside of the city, call 428-5990) or call your Neighborhood Service Center.