|People's Budget Athens Survey - 1300 Responses 9/24 9pm|
|Click through the sheets for the results from the People's Budget Athens' Survey, the demographic break-down of respondents, the raw form responses, and a break-down of the ACC Budget Proposal that will be voted on today, June 25th, 2020. Read more about the campaign: www.peoplesbudgetathens.org|
|View more graphics of the data analysis on our tableau: https://public.tableau.com/profile/bren.augustine.latorre.murrin1565#!/vizhome/1300Surveyresults624/Dashboard1?publish=yes|
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: |
1300+ SURVEY RESULTS SHOW ATHENIANS WANTS ACC TO REALLOCATE POLICE BUDGET TO PUBLIC HEALTH
JUNE 25, 2020
PRESS CONTACTS: Imani Scott-Blackwell, 678-749-9399; Chris Xavier 770-371-0049
As the ACC Mayor & Commission prepare for their vote on the 2021 fiscal budget later today, People’s Budget Athens released their participatory budgeting survey results showing popular support for redistributing police budget to public health services. Over the 8 days since its launch, the People’s Budget survey collected over 1300 responses from across all 10 districts. Results show that survey respondent’s top desires for investment are public health (95.46%) and food security (92.95%), and that respondent’s top desires for divestment are policing (86.62%) and parking enforcement (83.96%).
We invite all those interested to join People’s Budget Athens at City Hall at 5pm today, June 25th, 2020, for a public rally. The rally will be followed by AADM’s March for Black Lives also meeting at City Hall at 5:30pm.
We invite others to explore the data, which includes a demographic section with questions regarding respondents’ race, current employment status, and housing security. Our survey results are publicly accessible at https://bit.ly/PeoplesBudgetAthensResults.
Graphics will be published by noon through our social media, listservs, and website: www.peoplesbudgetathens.org
The People’s Budget Athens believes that participatory budgeting is urgently needed for the crises of pandemic and recession. To make it through COVID-19, our community needs funding in economic development, housing, health care, neighborhood health clinics, family and youth services, public works, transit and more. Under ACC’s proposed budget all of these programs COMBINED receive only 80% of what the county would give to the police department. The mayor’s proposed 2021 budget would include an increase in funding to the police.
The People’s Budget Survey was published on June 16th at the “End Slavery in Athens” People’s Budget Teach-In at City Hall before the Mayor & Commission heard public comment on the budget. That night, over 100 people came out to speak in favor of moving police budget to policing. Even so, on Thursday June 18th, the night before Juneteenth, the commission failed to adopt Tim Denson and Mariah Parker’s 50/10 plan, removing any definitive promises to defund the police. In response, the People’s Budget Athens is calling on the Mayor & Commission to delay the budget vote by a month to allow for a participatory process to fully consider community needs.
The Mayor & Commission have the power to delay the vote and ratify a budget at a later date according to the ACC Charter - Section 7-405. - Adoption of budgets (b). The Athens-Clarke County Charter stipulates that its annual budget consists of two distinct, non-overlapping parts: an operational and a capital budget (Code of Ordinances §1-7-403(a)1-2). The Charter then states that the Mayor & Commission will adopt both the operational and the capital budgets no later than June 30th (§1-405(b)). However, also according to 7-405(b), the operational budget may be delayed beyond June 30th and city operations would function according to a prorated FY2020 budget until a new budget is adopted. No such provision exists for capital budgets; the capital budget must be passed by June 30th (§1-7-405(d)). From these facts, we may reasonably claim that while the capital budget must be adopted on or before June 30, the operational budget may be delayed beyond June 30th. There would be no interruption in operations if the FY2021 operational budget were delayed in order to consider the People's Budget Athens plan and allow for participatory budgeting. We believe the Mayor & Commission should use this power to engage in a participatory budgeting process in this time of pandemic and economic recession.