Getting Involved in the Budget Process
Between March 23 and April 27, each DC Council committee will hold a hearing on the proposed budgets for the agencies the committee oversees. The committees will then hold “mark-up” votes to modify the Mayor’s budget proposal between April 28 and April 30. A vote on the full budget will be held on May 12.
Advocacy is an important part of the budget process and can help you or your organization make the case for changes you would like to see made to the budget. Testifying at a DC Council performance or budget oversight hearing can be an excellent opportunity to make your case directly to the DC Council. Many organizations publish tips of testifying as well as other means of advocacy, these resources are listed below:
A number of DC government agencies will be holding briefings for the public to on their proposed FY 2010 budgets. These briefings will include presentations from agency staff and question-and-answer sessions. These are intended to give advocates and others an opportunity to make sense of the budget proposals and to prepare for budget hearings. The agencies providing briefings (some have occurred already) include the following departments: Disability Services, Health, Mental Health, Health Care Finance, Housing and Community Development, and the Child and Family Services Administration.
The Coalition for Community Investment was formed in December 2008 in response to DC’s looming budget crisis and budget cuts that were made late in 2008. The coalition includes 160 organizations, including businesses, social service providers, faith-based groups, labor unions, policy organizations, both environmental and anti-poverty advocates, and individuals.
Fair Budget is a coalition of grassroots community groups, human service providers, advocates, faith organizations, and concerned community members. The Fair Budget Coalition fights for a just and inclusive District of Columbia, through budget and policy advocacy efforts. FBC issues an annual budget recommendation report that focuses on human services, health, and housing needs.