The Daily Northwestern

Commission emphasizes need for equity in budget survey

Equity+and+Empowerment+Commission+chair+Jane+Grover+speaks+at+a+commission+meeting+Thursday.+The+commission+expressed+a+desire+to+have+an+active+role+in+the+drafting+of+the+2019+budget.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Commission emphasizes need for equity in budget survey

Equity and Empowerment Commission chair Jane Grover speaks at a commission meeting Thursday. The commission expressed a desire to have an active role in the drafting of the 2019 budget.

Equity and Empowerment Commission chair Jane Grover speaks at a commission meeting Thursday. The commission expressed a desire to have an active role in the drafting of the 2019 budget.

Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

Equity and Empowerment Commission chair Jane Grover speaks at a commission meeting Thursday. The commission expressed a desire to have an active role in the drafting of the 2019 budget.

Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

Equity and Empowerment Commission chair Jane Grover speaks at a commission meeting Thursday. The commission expressed a desire to have an active role in the drafting of the 2019 budget.

Liz Byrne, Copy Chief

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Equity and Empowerment Commission members discussed Thursday the city’s priority-based budgeting survey, expressing a desire to have an active role in the drafting of the 2019 budget.

Facing another multi-million dollar budget deficit, city staff released the survey on May 10, asking residents to rank their top 10 and bottom 10 budgeting priorities using a list of 46 items.

Ald. Melissa Wynne (3rd), who serves on the commission, said the city is in the process of receiving feedback from residents about the 2019 budget. The survey closes June 7, and Wynne said City Council will discuss the results of the survey at a June 18 meeting.

“These are going to be incredibly difficult choices at the council and no one is going to be happy at the end of the day,” Wynne said. “Making these cuts is essential to the health of Evanston.”

Commission chair Jane Grover said moving forward, it will be important for the commission to contribute to discussions regarding the 2019 budget because of its inherent equity perspective.

According to a news release about the survey, Evanston staff ranked city programs based on demand, cost, dependence, equity and other factors to determine the 46 items listed on the survey.

Some commission members voiced concerns about the fairness of the evaluation process. Commission member Julie Corbier de Lara said even though a program might only affect a small population, it could have a severe impact on that portion of the community.

“You have to consider that some of these programs that help the disabled might not be very popular, but they do enormously affect a very small population of Evanston,” she said.

Grover said city staff evaluated programs through an “equity lens,” a concept introduced by equity and empowerment coordinator Patricia Efiom.

However, Corbier de Lara said she didn’t see that “equity lens” reflected in the original rankings by city staff. Grover said the budgeting process is “significant” and has “real-life implications for thousands of residents,” many of whom don’t have the ability to “speak up.”

“I knew that the core function of the city is passing a balanced budget,” she told The Daily. “Because the municipal budget reflects the values of the community, I was hoping that the commission would pick this up as an important task for us this year.”

Email: elizabethbyrne2020@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @lizbyrne33

Comments