Dates, locations for Philly citizen budget input announced

    You can give your two cents about how the city should address its budget problems at four upcoming forums, whose details were just announced. A week ago, Mayor Michael Nutter announced the city faces a second budget deficit of $1 billion and that painful choices will have to made. City officials will be listening to public input, but this time before they decide how to close the budget gap. WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

    You can give your two cents about how the city should address its budget problems at four upcoming forums, whose details were just announced. A week ago, Mayor Michael Nutter announced the city faces a second budget deficit of $1 billion and that painful choices will have to made. City officials will be listening to public input, but this time before they decide how to close the budget gap. WHYY’s Elizabeth Fiedler reports.

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    Transcript:

    The forums will be held next month in Germantown, and Northeast, South, and West Philadelphia. North Philadelphia community activist Ruth Birchett says she’s glad this time the city’s asking for the public’s input early on. But Birchett says she’s disappointed a forum isn’t being held in her neighborhood.

    Birchett: “Very often in the past we have been left out of the decision making, have not been asked our opinion and the solutions that have been implemented have caused our lives to be more problematic than they were initially.”

    Birchett says North Philadelphia has a lot of lower income residents who rely on libraries and recreation center for online job searches, and activities for children and senior citizens.

    The Penn Project for Civic Engagement is leading the forums.

    Director Harris Sokoloff: “It may have been better to do more than four but we were able to do four due to time constraints so we decided to do one in each quadrant of the city: one north, one south, one east, and one west.”

    Sokoloff says organizers tried to find places that have available parking, and are easily accessible by public transportation. WHYY is helping plan the forums.

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