As we gear up for the voting phase of our Your Voice, Your Choice program, we wanted to take a moment to highlight what we’ve accomplished so far.
In February, we were able to gather nearly 900 project ideas for improving parks and streets from all over the city. This far surpassed our expectations and illuminated the power and benefits of inviting community participation in the City budgeting process. Thank you to everyone who took the time to submit their ideas and to all our community partners who helped in getting the word out!
In March, we began the project development phase of the program. Teams of volunteers in each council district evaluated feasible project ideas based on impact and need and eventually narrowed the field to 10 great projects ideas per district. Thank you to the 267 community members who volunteered their time and energy to make this happen. (View the updated project map.)
The project development phase proved to be a valuable educational experience for us. We conducted exit surveys with our project development teams and here is what some of them found most interesting about the process:
- “Meeting people who care about the community.”
- “Hearing other people’s perspectives.”
- “Working together with fellow community members to prioritize spending choices.”
- “Hearing from the community and listening to their wants/needs, and making group decisions.”
- “That my input could actually have real impact.”
And, here is what some of them found most challenging about the process:
- “Steep learning curve. A lot to process and put together in a short time.”
- “Lack of feasibility knowledge to know if projects should be pushed through.”
- “Short notice about meetings.”
- “Choosing which issues were most important.”
This feedback has been incredibly beneficial as we evaluate this program and look toward improving it next year. We realize that we need to adapt the project development phase in particular to be more flexible, allowing for more access points and participation opportunities.
For now, we are looking forward to the next big phase of this year’s program: VOTING! Voting will take place June 3-30. Each council district will have its own ballot and community members can vote on their top projects within their individual district.
Do you want to help us get out the vote in your neighborhood? Sign-up to be one of our Vote Champions at http://bit.ly/vote-champion.
Curious about the rankings and status of all the project ideas? Check out the complete list on the City of Seattle’s Open Date site at https://data.seattle.gov/Community/Your-Voice-Your-Choice-Project-Ideas/syvi-qhpy/data.