Committee For A Better New Orleans Launches ‘Big Easy Budget Game’

NEW ORLEANS— The Committee for a Better New Orleans (CBNO) announced the launch of an interactive website built to capture resident input into the city budget.

         The Big Easy Budget Game is a first of its kind interactive website that lets every New Orleanian play “Mayor for a day” by creating their own version of the city’s budget. Residents must balance the budget, choosing how to spend tax dollars based on previous year spending and personal priorities. Players are given the opportunity to learn more about how departments work and how they spend their money, as well as to give additional feedback on specifically how they’d like funds to be spent.

         Data from each participant’s budget will be compiled to form a meta-budget—The People’s Budget— to give a crowd sourced, clear look at exactly what real people want to see in their communities. A report on The People's Budget will be released to media and city leaders along with the city's proposed budget for 2018 in the fall.

         First launched in 2016, this is the second year that CBNO has hosted the Big Easy Budget Game. In 2016, over 650 residents participated from every neighborhood of the city. Overall, residents gave increased funding to infrastructure improvements, mental health care and juvenile justice reforms, while cutting funding to administrative departments. The Big Easy Budget game proved to be a powerful tool for civic engagement, with 77 percent of players reporting that they had never participated in the city budget process before.

         Read more about the results of the 2016 game here

         The Big Easy Budget Game takes roughly 11 minutes to play, CBNO reps said. CBNO hopes to engage at least 1,000 residents in 2017. The site is targeted to users aged 16 and up, and requires no existing knowledge of city government or accounting.

         Funding for the Big Easy Budget Game has been provided through Baptist Community Ministries, the Ben & Jerry’s Foundation and the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Pitch It! Challenge supporters, the Kresge Foundation, Chevron and Uber.

         CBNO works to create equity and opportunity for all New Orleanians by developing community leaders, fostering civic engagement, and advocating for open, effective, accountable government, reps said.

         CBNO celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016.

         For more information


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