The purely volunteer-driven organisation OpenBudget Oakland wanted to increase engagement from citizens in the municipal budget planning process by offering a place for interaction and feedback to the budget process. In February 2013 OpenBudget Oakland approached OpenSpending to seek help and feedback on their ideas to create an open budget site for the city of Oakland.

Adam Stiles at OpenBudget Oakland initiated the development of the local budget site based on the OpenSpending software in close collaboration with the OpenSpending community online around the world. With help from the OpenSpending team, OpenBudget Oakland were able to introduce simple navigational features and comment functionalities, which other members of the OpenSpending community have since replicated around the world.

After just two months of work, Adam Stiles and OpenBudget Oakland launched their website in time for the annual budget proposal from the Mayor of Oakland.

Open Budget Oakland photo

Photo: OpenBudget Oakland presented to Oakland City council

OpenBudget Oakland was credited by Tech President as one of the community organisations behind the introduction of the first open data policy for the City of Oakland. The City of Oakland also introduced a reform to make the budget decision making process more open. OpenBudget Oakland serves as one of model budget transparency projects across the US wide Code for America community and therefore helps provide as to how OpenSpending can be utilised.

Adam Stiles continues to be involved with OpenSpending as a member of the Steering Group.