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Youth Power, Freezer Vans, and the White House


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Dear Friends,

School’s out for the summer. Grills are firing up. People are finding ways to stay cool. But democracy doesn’t take the summer off.

Midway through  2016, join us for a look at what we’ve done, where we’re going, and how we can fix government together!

In its July 11th cover story, TIME Magazine included Participatory Budgeting as one of the “240 reasons to celebrate America right now.” Number 83: ‘People Powered Budgets’!

It’s time to vote!

PB2 Ballot

We believe that the best way to build strong communities is by letting them lead. You believe that PB helps fulfill the promise of democracy and make government work.

You are our community, and we need your participation.

Every year we invite individual PBP donors to directly decide how to spend part of the money they donate, through PB2. In past years you funded new projects such as our intro video, organizing toolkit, and new MyReps tool – which helps you contact your local elected officials to ask them to support PB. This year your ideas turned into these nine amazing projects on the 2016 PB2 ballot!

Now it’s time for you to vote! Like in other PB processes, your experience and perspective leads to more efficient, strategic, and effective decisions.

Eligible voters have received their online ballot (if you donated and can’t find it, email If you haven’t given in the past year, or even if you have, please chip in to increase the pot of money and enable us to fund more projects.

Give now to cast your vote.


Groundbreaking New Reports

PB data has become much more complex since we helped start PB in the US in 2009, in Chicago’s 49th ward. To help compile and share data from the dozens of PB processes now active across North America, we launched a partnership with the public engagement and research nonprofit Public Agenda.

Together with the North American PB Research Board, Public Agenda recently released Public Spending, by the People, the most comprehensive report on PB in the US and Canada.

Some key findings for 2014-15 show that PB is:

  • Changing who participates. Women, young people, undocumented people, and low-income people were over-represented in PB compared to local census data.

  • Impacting more money. Over $46 million were allocated through PB, and school, park, and recreation projects received the most funding.

  • Spreading fast. 57% of communities were doing PB for the first time.


PBP is leading this growth. Our new annual report shows how we’re making PB work and why PB is essential for building a more inclusive democracy.

Read our Annual Report to learn more about what we’re doing and what your support makes possible.


New Vote Results

100,573 people have voted in 56 processes, to spend $50.51M in 2016 so far!
That’s more PB than ever before.
Highlights include:


Our 4th International Conference

To connect the growing number of PB processes and build knowledge together, we convened more than 200 civic leaders for our 4th International PB Conference. Two days and more than 30 breakout sessions at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Governance mapped PB’s successes, challenges, and potential futures.

Read the session notes at

Meet Our New Staff!


We’re growing. As the demand for PB grows, we’re meeting the need. Thanks to your support, we recently welcomed seven new staff members, who bring new perspectives, skills, capacity, networks, and expertise to our work:

  1. Giselle Blanco-Santana, Executive Assistant

  2. Ashley Brennan, Program Fellow

  3. Jake Carlson, Research Fellow

  4. Hadassah Damien, Manager of Engagement Technology

  5. Shari Davis, Director of Strategic Initiatives

  6. Harvir Kaur, Individual Giving Coordinator

  7. Naiyma Holmes, Operations Manager

Get to know them and read their bios on our staff page.


Voting parties!

To celebrate this growth and a few of our amazing partners, we got together in NYC on June 22 for our annual #PBParty. Check out the photos here!

Thank you to our sponsors and friends who kicked off voting in PB2 and made the party so much fun! We hope to see you all soon.

Join us in Oakland on July 26th! 
Drinks and appetizers, awesome people, and voting in PB2RSVP NOW!

Participatory Budgeting Project

We’re a nonprofit organization that empowers people to decide together how to spend public money.

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About PB - Video
Want to introduce your friends to PB? Start here by watching the 4-minute, award-winning video “Real Money, Real Power” to learn about how PB works to empower local residents!

Our work is only possible due to generous support of individuals, public funding, and our foundation partners:


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PBP helps communities decide how to improve using public money.

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