Albemarle County, VA has their own Visual Budget

With the help of Smart Cville‘s Lucas Ames, Albemarle County, Virginia has their own Visual Budget.

oncbs19The launch got great press:

Our press release: http://smartcville.com/smart-cville-and-albemarle-county-launch-visual-budget-tool/

County release: https://www.albemarle.org/navpages.asp?info=release&ID=20686

TV: http://www.newsplex.com/content/news/Albemarle-County-is-finding-new-ways-to-display-spending-habits-386700101.html (be sure to watch the great video and interview with Lucas.)

Newspaper: http://www.c-ville.com/new-app-shows-taxes-broken/#.V40wQI47RQ0

http://www.dailyprogress.com/news/local/online-budget-visualization-tool-aims-to-enhance-transparency-understanding/article_c3ec258a-51d9-11e6-ab0e-aba0dacddb9f.html
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Conversation in Civic Innovation: Financial Transparency and Citizen Engagement

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On July 20, Annie & Alan of VisGov were pleased to help organize and moderate the Conversation in Civic Innovation: Fiscal Transparency and Citizen Engagement at the Microsoft New England R&D (NERD) Center. The panel included five local experts on open data and government transparency:

  • James Milan, producer of Your Arlington Dollar on ACMi (Arlington Community Media Inc.) @acmitv
  • Mike Herbert, Ashland Town Manager @AshlandTwnMgr
  • Adam Langley, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy , Fiscally Standardized Cities database, @landpolicy
  • Christopher Dwelley, Co-Lead & Performance Manager, Citywide Analytics Team at City of Boston @chrisdwelley @cityofboston
  • Curt Savoie, Principal Data Scientist at Commonwealth of Massachusetts @CurtSavoie @MassachusettsIT

A main theme of the discussion was that numbers alone aren’t enough, that the data needs to tell a story, whether through meaningful visualizations, providing context, public discussions, and/or good journalism.

Conversations in Civic Innovation is a series of meetups sponsored by Microsoft New England and the Venture Café Foundation, Thank you @cathywissink  and @asprung of Microsoft New England for organizing!

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Somerville Surprise!

Unbeknownst to us, Somerville launched their own Visual Budget. That’s the coolness of free, open-source.

budget.somervillema.gov

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Middleborough Visual Budget is live!

middleborough.visgov.com

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Harwich Visual Budget

harwich.visgov.com

Harwich Visual Budget

Ashland Budget Goes Visual!

ashland.visgov.com

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Bourne Visual Budget Launched!

The Town of Bourne’s Visual Budget went live today at http://bournevisualbudget.org/.
Congratulations to the Bourne finance team!
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Lexington Visual Budget Launched

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Thanks to resident Andrei Radulescu-Banu, Lexington now has its own Visual Budget, lexingtonvisualbudget.org.

Andrei put up the site entirely on his own using the free open-source software downloaded from out GitHub repo. Andrei also maintains a local wiki for Lexington at lex-wiki.org.

Thanks, Andrei, for using Visual Budget, and for the time you’re contributing for the benefit of all Lexington residents.

Thanks to the Lincoln Land Institute for the great article on Visual Budget

landlinesThe Lincoln Institute of Land Policy included the story of Visual Budget in the October 2015 issue of Land Lines.

“To be fiscally strong, local governments have to be in a dialogue with residents,” says Lourdes Germán, an expert on municipal fiscal health and a fellow at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. “Residents have to know what key decisions are facing town officials, what those decisions mean financially, and how tax dollars are being used. All sorts of important things are up for a vote by the residents at town meetings, and often that meeting is the first time people hear about the issues, which is too late.”

“The Arlington Visual Budget has data going back to 2008 and projections out to 2021, so citizens can really understand how the budget has changed and how that impacts them,” says Adam Langley, senior research analyst at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. “Taxpayers can see that state aid for general governments was cut in half from 2009 to 2010, and that it hasn’t recovered at all since then. Because of that cut, the share of Arlington’s budget funded by state aid has fallen, while the share covered by property taxes has grown from 70 percent to 76 percent. The impact of government decisions on household budgets becomes clearer.”

Another win for Arlington Visual Budget!

cdg-logoArlington Visual Budget was awarded a “Digital Government Achievement Award” from the Center for Digital Government.

Congratulations Arlington!