New York City

PBNYCIn 2011, four Council Members – Brad Lander, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Eric Ulrich, and Jumaane Williams – launched Participatory Budgeting in New York City (PBNYC) to let residents decide how to allocate part of their local discretionary budgets. Since then, 24 more council districts have joined PBNYC, giving ordinary New Yorkers real decision-making power over $35 million in taxpayer money.

In each annual PB cycle, residents of participating council districts directly decide how to spend at least $1 million of their districts’ discretionary capital funds. Residents propose, develop and vote on local infrastructure projects, such as improvements to schools, parks, libraries, and public housing. The Council Members then submit the projects with the most votes to City Council for inclusion in the final city budget.

Talking Transitions PB Session

Our Role

Since 2011, PBP has served as Technical Assistance Lead for PBNYC. We provide tools and guide materials for city staff and participants; lead training workshops for participants, facilitators, and outreach volunteers; prepare educational and publicity materials; and offer ongoing support for Council Member staff in each participating district.

Alongside our community partner, Community Voices Heard, we support the city-wide PBNYC Steering Committee, which is composed of local organizations tasked with designing, overseeing, and evaluating the PB process.


  • $60 million allocated by ordinary residents for 300 local projects
  • Over 51,000 people engaged in participatory democracy
  • 31 elected officials brought closer to their constituents

See the full outcomes of PBNYC in this evaluation report.


CD23 Assembly 2013