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Visualizing Value
Citizen Engagement Through the Budget
Whitney Afonso, PhD
NCLGBA- Summer 2013
∗ Do we want citizens engaged?
∗ What does that even mean?
∗ What possible advantages might there be?
∗ What difficulties ...
∗ What does citizen engagement mean?
∗ What effect does it have?
∗ What are some of the ways
we can engage our citizens?
3...
∗ Educate and inform
∗ Policies
∗ Spending
∗ Costs
∗ Services provided
∗ Laws and limits
4
Citizen Engagement
∗ Incorporate their input
∗ Integrate them into the process
∗ Receive feedback early and shape policies and priorities
∗ A...
∗ Phase 1: Information
∗ One way relationship in which government delivers
information to citizens
∗ Government Citizen
6
...
∗ Phase 2: Consultation
∗ A two way relationship in which citizens provide
feedback on issues defined by government
∗ Gove...
∗ Phase 3: Active participation
∗ A collaboration in which citizens actively shape policy
options, but where government re...
∗ Another way to think about the “levels” of citizen
participation
9
Formal Model
∗ Take a few minutes at your table to discuss how your
local governments are doing it?
∗ Similarities?
∗ Innovation?
How a...
∗ Focus today is going to be on the information phase
of engagement
∗ So what are some of the ways
that you (your muni,
yo...
∗ Traditional budget
∗ Hard to navigate
∗ Build a roadmap
∗ Fact sheets
∗ Hard to decide what to present
∗ Keep it in lay ...
∗ Taxpayer receipts
∗ Examples
∗ Suggestions
∗ Skyline bar charts
∗ Budget Hero!
∗ Local examples
13
Two New Tools
∗ History
∗ Third Way
∗ “Radical centrists” think tank
∗ 2010: Suggest federal receipt
∗ http://www.thirdway.org/publicati...
∗ 2011 interview:
∗ Who knows how much of our tax dollar went to develop clean energy
or reduce our dependence on foreign ...
∗ http://www.whitehouse.gov/2012-taxreceipt
16
∗ Still new
∗ Not common at state or local level yet
∗ Georgia
∗ Created by State Senator Doug Stoner
∗ http://dougstoner....
18
19
∗ This is the one we will discuss the most
∗ It is not dynamic like the federal, GA, or NYC example
∗ It is not just a % o...
21
∗ What are the primary differences between Georgia
and Connecticut?
∗ Advantages?
∗ Disadvantages?
∗ Which is more feasibl...
∗ For the dynamic one like GA and NYC
∗ Just need to have a programmer and a website
∗ Plug in the percentages and have it...
∗ Assumption:
∗ Only property taxes included
∗ Step 1: Find either per capita property tax burden or
average household pro...
∗ Step 2: Look at what property taxes fund in your
government and what percentage they make up of that
funding
∗ This is w...
∗ Step 4: For each of the categories of spending see
what percentage of spending from property tax
revenue they represent
...
∗ Step 6: Find other similarly priced items
∗ Try to make them relevant to your area
∗ Or at least fairly universal and re...
∗ Step 7: Format
∗ Keep it simple!
∗ Keep clusters of spending together
∗ Think about how it will be disseminated
∗ Can yo...
29
Orange County’s Taxpayer Receipt
Program
A
Household's
Taxes Equivalent
Economic development $0.52 pressed penny
Public...
∗ Pie vs bar chart
∗ Bar Chart is easier to read (Klass 2002)
∗ Do not want 3 dimensional graphs
∗ Want to engage them, bu...
31
Budget Hero
∗ Not feasible for most local governments to have the
budget hero experience
∗ Can still present data this way though
32
L...
Chapel Hill Spending
33
∗ Myrtle Beach has done something similar to the
receipt presented here
∗ Within their budget document, 13 pages of explan...
35
36
∗ Fairfax County, VA
∗ Can you create a better budget?
37
Looking to Engage Beyond
Informing?
38
39
∗ Not just informing though
∗ Though it is
∗ They are soliciting feedback about how “you” would
spend the money
40
Better ...
∗ What seems feasible?
41
Lots of Ways to “Engage”
∗ Engagement can mean lots of different things
∗ Need to consider your ultimate goal
∗ How you want to use feedback, if yo...
∗ Discuss at your table how/if one of these options will
work for you and your local government
∗ Why or why not?
Will thi...
Questions?
44
∗ Berner, M. M., Amos, J. M., & Morse, R. S. (2011). What constitutes effective citizen
participation in local government?...
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Visualizing Value Presentation

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"Visualizing Value" presentation by Whitney Alfonso at Summer 2013 NCLGBA Conference (July 11, 2013)

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Transcript of "Visualizing Value Presentation"

  1. 1. Visualizing Value Citizen Engagement Through the Budget Whitney Afonso, PhD NCLGBA- Summer 2013
  2. 2. ∗ Do we want citizens engaged? ∗ What does that even mean? ∗ What possible advantages might there be? ∗ What difficulties may be associated with citizens having a more active role? 2 First Things First
  3. 3. ∗ What does citizen engagement mean? ∗ What effect does it have? ∗ What are some of the ways we can engage our citizens? 3 Questions & Previous Research
  4. 4. ∗ Educate and inform ∗ Policies ∗ Spending ∗ Costs ∗ Services provided ∗ Laws and limits 4 Citizen Engagement
  5. 5. ∗ Incorporate their input ∗ Integrate them into the process ∗ Receive feedback early and shape policies and priorities ∗ Allow them to more directly change what the proposed budget will look like 5 Citizen Engagement
  6. 6. ∗ Phase 1: Information ∗ One way relationship in which government delivers information to citizens ∗ Government Citizen 6 Phases of Engagement Taken from QGEA- ICT Policy and Coordination Office (2010)
  7. 7. ∗ Phase 2: Consultation ∗ A two way relationship in which citizens provide feedback on issues defined by government ∗ Government Citizen 7 Phases of Engagement Taken from QGEA- ICT Policy and Coordination Office (2010)
  8. 8. ∗ Phase 3: Active participation ∗ A collaboration in which citizens actively shape policy options, but where government retains the responsibility for final decisions ∗ Government Citizen 8 Phases of Engagement Taken from QGEA- ICT Policy and Coordination Office (2010)
  9. 9. ∗ Another way to think about the “levels” of citizen participation 9 Formal Model
  10. 10. ∗ Take a few minutes at your table to discuss how your local governments are doing it? ∗ Similarities? ∗ Innovation? How are you doing it? 10
  11. 11. ∗ Focus today is going to be on the information phase of engagement ∗ So what are some of the ways that you (your muni, your county) are informing/educating your citizens? 11 Phase 1: Information
  12. 12. ∗ Traditional budget ∗ Hard to navigate ∗ Build a roadmap ∗ Fact sheets ∗ Hard to decide what to present ∗ Keep it in lay language with graphics ∗ Videos ∗ Public access 12 Traditional Ways to Relay Budget Info Taken from Stephens (2011)
  13. 13. ∗ Taxpayer receipts ∗ Examples ∗ Suggestions ∗ Skyline bar charts ∗ Budget Hero! ∗ Local examples 13 Two New Tools
  14. 14. ∗ History ∗ Third Way ∗ “Radical centrists” think tank ∗ 2010: Suggest federal receipt ∗ http://www.thirdway.org/publications/335 ∗ Idea picks up traction ∗ NPR- Planet Money ∗ 2010: Jacob Goldstein 14 Taxpayer Receipts
  15. 15. ∗ 2011 interview: ∗ Who knows how much of our tax dollar went to develop clean energy or reduce our dependence on foreign oil? You know, that’s just one of the reasons we feel disconnected from our government, and we think a tax receipt would help give people an idea where their tax dollars go.- David Kendall from Third Way ∗ White House Responds ∗ April 2011: Taxpayer Receipt is launched 15 Taxpayer Receipts
  16. 16. ∗ http://www.whitehouse.gov/2012-taxreceipt 16
  17. 17. ∗ Still new ∗ Not common at state or local level yet ∗ Georgia ∗ Created by State Senator Doug Stoner ∗ http://dougstoner.com/taxpayer2013/ 17 State & Local Examples
  18. 18. 18
  19. 19. 19
  20. 20. ∗ This is the one we will discuss the most ∗ It is not dynamic like the federal, GA, or NYC example ∗ It is not just a % of spending breakdown 20 The Connecticut Example
  21. 21. 21
  22. 22. ∗ What are the primary differences between Georgia and Connecticut? ∗ Advantages? ∗ Disadvantages? ∗ Which is more feasible for your local government? 22 Differences
  23. 23. ∗ For the dynamic one like GA and NYC ∗ Just need to have a programmer and a website ∗ Plug in the percentages and have it calculate the dollars after user inputs it ∗ Disclaimer I am not a programmer! ∗ For the CT style ∗ Do not need a programmer ∗ Can add values to the dollar amounts ∗ More room for policy 23 Creating a Taxpayer Receipt
  24. 24. ∗ Assumption: ∗ Only property taxes included ∗ Step 1: Find either per capita property tax burden or average household property tax burden for your local government ∗ Burden will be lower if per capita ∗ More people may relate to household total ∗ I will use household 24 Steps to Create CT Style
  25. 25. ∗ Step 2: Look at what property taxes fund in your government and what percentage they make up of that funding ∗ This is where property taxes are going! ∗ Step 3: Decide on the categories of spending ∗ The big ones, but any smaller sub-categories you want to highlight ∗ Think about your audience and priorities ∗ Want to avoid too much “other” 25 Steps to Create CT Style
  26. 26. ∗ Step 4: For each of the categories of spending see what percentage of spending from property tax revenue they represent ∗ Step 5: Multiply the tax burden by the percentages ∗ I do this, like CT, on a monthly basis ∗ So a 1/12th of the total tax burden ∗ This will not effect your percentages 26 Steps to Create CT Style
  27. 27. ∗ Step 6: Find other similarly priced items ∗ Try to make them relevant to your area ∗ Or at least fairly universal and recognizable 27 Steps to Create CT Style
  28. 28. ∗ Step 7: Format ∗ Keep it simple! ∗ Keep clusters of spending together ∗ Think about how it will be disseminated ∗ Can you include hyperlinks? ∗ Will you be printing it? ∗ Black and white vs color ∗ How long? ∗ You want to explain your methodology and where the #s come from 28 Steps to Create CT Style
  29. 29. 29 Orange County’s Taxpayer Receipt Program A Household's Taxes Equivalent Economic development $0.52 pressed penny Public Transportation $1.12 1/2 pound of chicken Orange Community Housing and Land Trust $0.21 Book in a yard sale Department of Social Services $22.79 Family of four eating out at fast food resteraunt Health Department $10.06 3 gallons of gas School Health Nurses $0.95 an app for your iPhone Orange County Rape Crisis Center $0.03 run a 100 watt light bulb for 6 hours Sheriff $15.46 6 pack of Hanes crew socks Emergency Services $11.74 Burger and tea at Spanky's Family Violence Prevention Center of Orange County $0.03 3 sheets of 20 lb white paper Animal Services $2.34 A small cup of coffee County Manager's Office $1.14 Two rolls of toilet paper Board of County Commissioners $1.10 Fountain drink at a gas station Debt service $35.33 a dozen cupcakes at Sugarland Education $92.57 Months worth of diapers KidSCope $0.10 5 minutes of parking on Franklin St Library services $2.36 a tube of toothpaste Other $51.04 Four tickets to a movie Total $248.90 Family smartphone bill
  30. 30. ∗ Pie vs bar chart ∗ Bar Chart is easier to read (Klass 2002) ∗ Do not want 3 dimensional graphs ∗ Want to engage them, but still present the data in a meaningful way ∗ Budget Hero ∗ The greatest game you have never heard of! ∗ http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/budget-hero 30 Skyline Bar Charts
  31. 31. 31 Budget Hero
  32. 32. ∗ Not feasible for most local governments to have the budget hero experience ∗ Can still present data this way though 32 Local Budget Hero
  33. 33. Chapel Hill Spending 33
  34. 34. ∗ Myrtle Beach has done something similar to the receipt presented here ∗ Within their budget document, 13 pages of explanation ∗ Services, powers, structure, revenue sources, etc 34 Other Options
  35. 35. 35
  36. 36. 36
  37. 37. ∗ Fairfax County, VA ∗ Can you create a better budget? 37 Looking to Engage Beyond Informing?
  38. 38. 38
  39. 39. 39
  40. 40. ∗ Not just informing though ∗ Though it is ∗ They are soliciting feedback about how “you” would spend the money 40 Better Budget?
  41. 41. ∗ What seems feasible? 41 Lots of Ways to “Engage”
  42. 42. ∗ Engagement can mean lots of different things ∗ Need to consider your ultimate goal ∗ How you want to use feedback, if you solicit it ∗ There are numerous “low cost” options to create tools for disseminating information ∗ Receipts ∗ Bar charts ∗ Let me know! I would like to hear about your experiences and if you try one. afonso@sog.unc.edu 42 Conclusion
  43. 43. ∗ Discuss at your table how/if one of these options will work for you and your local government ∗ Why or why not? Will this work for you? 43
  44. 44. Questions? 44
  45. 45. ∗ Berner, M. M., Amos, J. M., & Morse, R. S. (2011). What constitutes effective citizen participation in local government? Views from city stakeholders. Public Administration Quarterly, 35(1), 128-163. ∗ Jimenez, B. S. (2013). Raise Taxes, Cut Services, or Lay Off Staff: Citizens in the Fiscal Retrenchment Process. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory. ∗ Stephens, John B. 2011, Creating Effective Citizen Participation in Local Government Budgeting: Practical Tips and Examples for Elected Officials and Budget Administrators, Public Management Bulletin #06, Chapel Hill, NC: School of Government, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 37 pages. ∗ Connecticut Taxpayer Receipt: ∗ http://www.ctvoices.org/sites/default/files/bud12cttaxpayerreceipt.pdf ∗ Federal budget hero: ∗ http://www.marketplace.org/topics/economy/budget-hero ∗ Fairfax County, Virginia: Build a better budget ∗ http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/braddock/pdfs/letter-simulation.pdf Resources 45
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