John Liu draws public input for budget proposal

Comptroller John Liu is attempting to create a budget “for the people, by the people.”

Liu’s brainchild, the so-called People’s Budget, came out in April. A website went up listing several community issues and city residents voted on where they thought budget money should be allotted.

Liu’s initiative is a comprehensive four-year plan that includes revenue generation and cost saving proposals. It promotes investments in communities, schools and housing, and would also create more than 35,000 jobs, according to the comptroller.

Topics raised by residents included extending library hours, providing more adult literacy classes, increasing the minimum wage and making streets safer for pedestrians and bikers. After voting closed, adult literacy classes came out on top, right above extending library hours.

“People are not shy about making their opinions known to me. They are tired of seeing their libraries being on budget,” the comptroller said.

Liu said the results of the People’s Budget will allow him to make recommendations to the City Council and the mayor and “demonstrate that these votes represent real sentiment on the part of city residents and taxpayers.”

“It’s time to stop dancing and create a budget that is of the people, by the people and for the people,” he added. “The way things are right now, the New York City dream is under attack.”

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