On Tuesday, June 9th, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the winning projects chosen by Boston residents ages 12 to 25 in Youth Lead the Change, Boston’s youth PB process. The chosen projects, which speak to the judiciousness of young Bostonians, focus on expanding the accessibility of public works that have been implemented in only parts of Boston and encouraging the health and vitality of the city.
Boston’s youth PB process marks the city’s second year engaging it’s young people in participatory democracy, with $1 dollars allocated to this year’s chosen initiatives. The youth PB process–which the city calls Youth Lead the Change–is organized by the Mayor’s Youth council.
The chosen projects include:
- an extension of the Hubway bicycle system to more neighborhoods ($101,600)
- expanding the Wicked Free WIfi system to neighborhoods where there isn’t a lot of free or inexpensive wifi, with a special emphasis on schools and community centers ($119,000)
- installing water bottle refill stations in public parks to encourage and facilitate the use of reusable water bottles and keep park-goers healthy and hydrated ($260,000)
- a renovation of the Boston Latin Academy gym including floor renovations, bleacher repair, and painting ($475,000)
Getting young people involved in PB makes them more informed about and excited by the workings of government, as well as equips them with the tools they need to be thoughtful decision makers. And, they have innovative and important ideas!
“We’re involving our youngest and brightest residents in local government, and empowering them to make positive changes in their neighborhoods,” said Mayor Walsh. “I am proud we were able to continue the process, building on last year’s achievements and enabling young people to critically think about how to spend taxpayer dollars in a way that better serves the people. This fosters a sense of responsibility and accountability. They walk away knowing their voices matter.”
We’re hoping Boston’s youth PB process will inspire other cities to embrace participatory democracy for young people!