The People’s Budget Review today began a historic drive to collect the opinions of more than 10,000 St. Petersburg residents, creating a meaningful way for all citizens to provide input on how city revenue is spent. Surveys will be collected via internet, street interviews and door to door visits.
“The City’s budget process is the most important act of our city leaders,” said Mike Gulley, President of the Council of Neighborhood Associations. “It sets priorities for our neighborhoods and establishes a vision for what kind of City we’ll be.”
“The focus of this survey is to get people of all stripes weighing in — Republicans, Democrats, Independents, blue collar or small business owners, black, white, Latino or Asian,” said Reverend Dr. Manuel Sykes, President of the St Petersburg NAACP. “Our elected officials have asked for more input and the People’s Budget Review is our opportunity.”
“We’ve had several years of service reductions, and have actually done better than most Florida cities,” said Alphonso Mayfield, President of the Florida Public Services Union. “It’s the right time to think about how we move from cost cutting to a place much better for all who live in St Petersburg.”
“What we’re hoping for is to have a creative exchange of ideas among the people of St Petersburg,” said Darden Rice, President of the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg area. “What we hear from folks is the desire for a ‘can do’ positive attitude as we rebuild from the past few years. That’s really our ultimate goal: to unite neighborhoods and ignite the fire of citizen participation.”
City of St. Petersburg citizens can access the survey through www.peoplesbudgetreview.org.