City Council Approves Edwards’s City Charter Amendment

Councilor Lydia Edwards cheered the passage of her long-championed Charter Amendment that would reform the way the City Budget is formulated – something that could likely be up for a vote on the Municipal Ballot this coming November.

The Council passed the matter last Wednesday, May 26, after there were some revisions made to the original amendment passed last fall at the behest of Commonwealth of Massachusetts. With the passage last week, Edwards said she was very happy to see her colleagues approve greater transparency and participation for the Council and the public on City Budget issues. She now awaits the signature of Acting Mayor Kim Janey, who has until Monday to sign the measure and send it on to the Attorney General’s Office for final review.

“People should be excited to have a voice,” said Edwards. “I want to thank my colleagues. The City Council unanimously voted to take this matter to Bostonians. This charter amendment would do two things. It would allow for the Council to have a check on the Mayor and not hold up the entire budget.

It would also create a process for participatory budgeting which allows Bostonians to vote directly on where their money goes.”

The Charter Amendment was in response to the 2020 Budget strife where the Council struggled to inform the public of their limitations in the budgeting process. That was prior to one of the most controversial budget votes in recent history. Edwards promised those who advocated against the budget she would propose a change that would potentially fix the process.

The Charter amendment does just that, but it would come through using a process whereby the voters decide on the issue in November.

The new version would allow the Council to review or reject bits and pieces of the Mayor’s proposed budget without holding up the entire budget. Likewise the new measure has clarified language about the participatory budgeting process that would give residents a direct voice on how to spend part of the budget.

If signed by the Acting Mayor, and approved by the Attorney General, the measure would be on the Nov. 2 Municipal Election ballot.

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