Voice of the Citizen- Budgeting for Public Safety


Voting for Voice of the Citizen Public Budgeting is Closed. See below for the winning entries.

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, the City 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. The City 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 developed a ballot for quadrant-based project voting

Cycle Three: Voting Period (December 2-16, 2013) 

  • Residents voted for selected projects in their quadrant.
  • Southwest quadrant winner: Jobs for Life career and community education program. Job referrals and mentors for 30 adults and tutoring for 60 youth in science, technology, engineering and math. The project also includes seminars on block club leadership, civic engagement, financial literacy and home buying as well as a youth disaster recovery workshop that teaches skills in disaster preparation. Read the full proposal. 
  • Southeast quadrant winner: Civic engagement opportunities such as traffic calming discussions and implementations, neighborhood enhancement projects, mini-Clean Sweeps, gardens, landscaping and community collaboration events such movie nights, health fairs and holiday celebrations. Read the full proposal. 
  • Northwest quadrant winner: Crime Prevention through Environmental Design. Tactics to encourage pedestrian traffic and discourage loitering, street drug sales and gambling. High visibility pedestrian crossing signs, increased brightness of street lighting in select areas, outdoor café seating for rotating use among the quadrant’s restaurants, stores and delis, sidewalk plantings and hanging baskets and vacant storefront art. Read the full proposal. 
  • Northeast quadrant winner: GIS Scholars Program. 5 to 10 additional students to take part in after-school training in the operation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology. The students will create a mapping project designed to assist with crime prevention in selected areas. They will collect data and identify crime rates through the mapping technology, create maps to plot variables surrounding crime such as property ownership, poverty, proximity to services and others. They will publish and share their results. Read the full proposal.

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 is closed

Voting took place Dec. 2-16. 

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.

Vote Online - Voting is closed

Ballots for ALL quadrants were 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.


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.