Help make the budget choices

If you’re weary of politicians arguing over Minnesota budget matters, the Citizens League is holding a unique set of workshops around the state in the coming few weeks, and anyone interested in weighing in on the state’s budget woes should think about attending.

You can find out more, including times, dates and places at the Citizens League site or you can go straight to the League’s CitiZing site. Here’s the intro:

The workshops are informative, fast-paced and interactive — illuminating the current reality of the state budget, examining future trends, and asking participants to identify values and priorities they think should help frame state budget decisions for the coming decade and beyond.

The website also gives you the chance to test your knowledge and to join in an online conversation now about the budget and the choices before the state.

From now until the middle of December, the workshops will present information about the budget and invite residents to join the conversation about how to make tough decisions.

Our Cities in Crisis reporting here at Ground Level has showed some of the dilemmas cities find themselves in this year.

In particular, in many cities residents are confronting some pretty key questions about what they want their communities to do collectively, whether it’s pay for 24-hour police patrols, library services or street maintenance. Do we keep the streetlights on in Brainerd? Can we afford to pay for a garbage incinerator in Red Wing?

The Citizens League workshops offer the opportunity to ask those questions and similar ones at the state level.

The League’s schedule calls for it to do a quick round in late December of double-checking to see if it heard right and then take the message to lawmakers in January.

Disclosure: The effort is backed by the Bush Foundation, which is also a supporter of Ground Level.

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