Voters now have the chance to say yea or nay on Issue 38, or the People’s Budget. If passed, Issue 38 would add a new chapter to Cleveland’s charter that creates a process for residents to make more direct spending decisions. Below are some answers to questions about how much money would be spent if voters approve Issue 38 and how it might affect the city’s budget. Read the full text of the proposed charter amendment.
Who would run this process?
An 11-person steering committee would oversee the People’s Budget Fund. The committee would also be responsible for designing and running a process where residents could propose ideas and then vote on the projects they want to fund.
Who would be a part of the People’s Budget Steering Committee?
Ten Cleveland residents and one city staff person. City residents 16 and older would be able to apply for the committee. The proposed amendment says the mayor and council should “strive to appoint residents who represent the diversity of Cleveland regarding age, gender, race, geography, LGBTQ+ status, and socioeconomic status.” Applicants under 30 and members of historically marginalized communities would be prioritized. The committee would be required to publish information about the makeup of its membership.
Who would pick the steering committee members?
The mayor and city council will each appoint five members, and one member will be a city staff person hired to support the process.
Would Steering Committee members be paid?
Committee members would be paid $5,000 per year, which would be adjusted each year. Cleveland pays members of other city boards and commissions between $7,200 and $8,900 per year depending on the number of meetings held. Committee members won’t be eligible for city healthcare or pension benefits.
What other costs are there?
The proposed charter amendment includes money for staffing, similar to the Community Police Commission. The administrative costs are set at $500,000 per year to start and could include hiring a staff person in the mayor’s office or at a nonprofit to help manage the committee’s work and coordinate with the city. Money could also be spent on community education and engagement around the participatory budgeting process.