PHILADELPHIA — The vision for the FY23 budget cycle and beyond is a budget that enables investments that provide quality government services and infrastructure while maintaining the City’s long-term fiscal health, reduces racial disparities among Philadelphians, and advances equitable outcomes for all Philadelphians. To bring more Philadelphians to the table as the budget is developed, the City today laid out it’s plan to engage the public regarding the upcoming FY23 budget. As part of that, the City announced it will hold a town hall with Mayor Kenney on January 27, 2022, along with a series of focus groups for community members on January 30 and February 10, 2022.
“As we develop our plan for Fiscal Year 2023 we must be strategic about balancing investments for the immediate needs of Philadelphians with the City’s long-term fiscal health,” said Mayor Jim Kenney. “To help us create the upcoming budget, we seek the diverse insights of our residents, businesses, and employees about what matters most to them and their community.”
Last year, the City added a multilingual online survey and held 12 focus groups/townhalls, giving more than 10,000 people a way to share their recommendations on the City’s revenue sources and spending decisions. While these efforts created opportunities for more Philadelphians to shape the upcoming budget, the initiative fell short of ideal inclusivity because they were not representative of Philadelphia’s residents. For FY23, the City is replacing the survey with more focus group sessions designed to be demographically representative and a town hall with Mayor Kenney and members of his Administration. This approach will allow deeper engagement and better reflect all Philadelphians preferences and priorities.
In addition to adjusting strategies to increase equitable engagement, the City will increase accessibility by including translators, call-in options, and other accommodations in the engagement process.
“We are making changes to the budget process by expanding who is involved and amending how the budget process works,” said Budget Director Marisa Waxman. “As part of this, the City is seeking more insights into the needs and preferences of Philadelphians, with concerted efforts to engage Black and Brown Philadelphians, from people inside and outside City government.”
This Spring, Mayor Kenney will propose a budget to City Council for FY23. There will be difficult budget choices to be made as Philadelphia continues to respond to and recover from the impacts of COVID-19. To help shape the plan, residents and business owners can share their ideas in the town hall with Mayor Kenney and members of his Administration or in a focus group.
Recommendations and insights gathered through these sessions will be shared with Mayor Kenney and his staff to inform decisions for the FY23 budget. Translation will be available in Spanish, Mandarin, French, and Vietnamese.
Apply to participate in a virtual budget focus group or call 311.
Focus groups will be held between January 31st and February 10th. Selected participants will be compensated $40 for their time and translation is available upon request. Please apply by January 26th.
For more information, City budget documents can be found at phila.gov/finance/reports.html.