Technology Corner by Adriana Hemzacek
Budgeting, It’s a Balancing Act
Have a voice in your government. Show your elected officials how you’d balance the budget.
Budgets are, arguably, the most direct way a community expresses what is important. Should the focus be parks and recreation? Public health? Police? Helping the homeless? If the answer is yes to all—how are we going to pay for it?
Balancing Act is a fun and easy way for residents to learn about public budgets and the choices their elected officials face in the budgeting process. It allows participants to try allocating funds— expressing their priorities and preferences — but also requires them to balance spending and revenue.
Balancing Act was designed for those individuals interested in taking an active role in making their community better by sharing their voice. It is an interactive, online budgeting simulator for state and local governments’ residents.
Balancing Act brings people and government officials closer together in an informed conversation about what priorities are in everyone’s best interests. Because it is online it is accessible to anyone at any time and is far more convenient than a traditional public meeting or budget hearing.
Currently, Balancing Act supports municipal budgets. County, school district and state budget models will be added later in 2015. More to come for 2016! Keep an eye out for this one!