Name: Balancing Act
Website Link: http://abalancingact.com/
Balancing Act is an online tool that allows citizens to play an active role in balancing their local municipalities budget by working through a simulated budget process. The feedback from citizen input is directly implemented into the local government decision-making processes. There is a lot of potential with this type of process because it allows citizens to reflect on what services are important to them while also gaining an appreciation for the difficult tasks that local government staff face each year during the budget development process. Another benefit of this program is that it can be used by citizens who might not be able to attend a budget meeting or who might not feel comfortable openly offering their feedback on the budget. There is also an option for the program to be used in an in-person budget meeting allowing participants who are not as familiar with using computers to still participate in the budget development process.