Ithaca will let people decide how to spend part of budget in 2018

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A portion of Ithaca’s 2018 budget will be set aside for those who live in the city to decide how to use it. 

The idea, called a “people’s budget”, has been used in hundreds of other cities across the country including Buffalo and New York. 

Mostly young people are behind the idea, which started within the city’s Youth Organizing Fellowship.

“We are proving that we are very capable, and young people are very capable of creating change and being responsible for it,” Ahja Haedicke, one of the organizers of the project said. 

Uses for the budget can be anything people decide including fixing broken playground equipment or repairing sidewalks. 

Emma Dennis, another one of the budget’s organizers, said the hope is to “increase and motivate people in Ithaca to engage with, have conversations with and participate in our local government processes.” 

The program, still in its pilot year, will be open to Second Ward residents of the city to vote next summer. 

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