New Orleans citizens interested in learning more about, and getting involved in, the city’s budget process can download a new guide created by an open-government coalition.

The New Orleans Coalition on Open Governance produced the guide to encourage residents to become more active in the public-hearing process, which began Tuesday. The Lens is one of six members of the coalition.

The 19-page guide provides the schedule for the City Council hearings, which will run for three weeks. It also provides a summary of the six main budget areas created by Mayor Mitch Landrieu:

  • Public safety
  • Open and effective government
  • Children and families
  • Sustainable communities
  • Economic Development
  • Innovation

In each of those area, the budget guide lists the priorities that are funded in Landrieu’s proposed budget, and those that didn’t make the cut. The seven-member council can move money around within the budget, and it’s done so in past years in response to concerns from the community and council members themselves.

For those who can’t make the budget hearings, which start most days at 10 a.m., the guide provides phone numbers and email addresses for the council members.

They’ll be accepting comments until they approve the budget, which is scheduled to happen Dec. 1.

How should New Orleans taxpayers’ money be spent?

The Lens wants to know what your priorities are in local government spending. Click here and take a moment to tell The Lens and the Public Insight Network how you feel that the city government should spend the $494 million collected from taxpayers this year. We may follow up with you for an interview.