Jackie Wakeem presenting on financial literacy in meeting.
Mossawa Center’s Mixed Cities Program, which works with local activists and council members to address the problems facing Arab communities in mixed cities including violence, underdevelopment and discrimination in employment and health care, had its third meeting on Friday February 10th. This program was started on January 27th and will run for 13 weeks discussing a multitude of issues.
The meeting was opened by the Director of the Mossawa Center, Jaafar Farah, who emphasized the importance of benefiting from the experience of Arab youth who have worked in mixed cities' municipalities professionally, to gain knowledge and experience about the importance of the work of Arab municipality members, as well as the importance of cooperation between Arab municipality members and civil institutions in mixed historical cities to allocate governmental funding and budgets.
Then, former Haifa municipality accountant, Jackie Wakeem, led the rest of the meeting. Wakeem gave a detailed lecture on how to build budgets in municipalities and the importance of working with professional teams in the municipality. He also explained the difference between professional decisions in the municipality and political decisions issued by the head of local government, and spoke about the importance of planning and submitting a plan before submitting a request to monitor budgets, especially by dealing with "Mifal HaPais," Israel’s national lottery, and government offices and other budget donors to establish projects.
Wakeem also discussed the expenses spent by the municipality on services and project establishment, as well as the revenues that the municipality receives from Arnona, a tax levied by law on holders of buildings and land and industrial areas. Moreover, he discussed the importance of attracting companies and stakeholders from outside the city in addition to the importance of income from transportation and parking lots. He stressed the importance of working professionally and knowing all the details when monitoring budgets from government offices.