In a year filled with dramatic political shifts around the world, participatory budgeting (PB) continues to find traction as the world’s longest running, most widespread innovation in participatory democracy.
We are proud of work that expanded PB to new types of budgets, new communities, and new solutions that rebuild connections between people and government.
A Letter from Josh.
This is a tough time be working on budgets and democracy. Governments are considering massive cuts for programs that are critical for communities. People are tired of politics as usual, tired of their voices not being heard. We have a big problem: Our democracy is not working.
At PBP, we have a big solution: Share real power over real money. We the people can do more than elect our leaders – we should also have the power to directly decide what government does. Thousands of people across North America are already turning this vision into reality, taking budgets into their own hands and building civic power with participatory budgeting.
PB gives communities new opportunities to learn together, work together, and grow together. It lifts up the voices of young people, women, people of color, low-income residents, and others who are often not prioritized by government. When we give people control over their public money we learn what they need, and we invest in our democracy.
PBP is the first and only nonprofit dedicated to growing PB across North America. Since I founded the organization in 2009, we have supported 174 PB processes in dozens of cities, empowering 300,000 people to decide how to spend $240 million.
This past year was busy, as we worked to build a responsive, equitable, and people-powered democracy:
We expanded PB across North America. We supported PB processes in 24 cities and launched the first PB processes for a school district (in Phoenix, AZ) and for federal funds (Community Development Block Grants in Oakland, CA).
We built new tools for democracy. The quality of PB processes is just as important as quantity. We developed a library of tools and resources to make PB better, including an outreach guide, curriculum for PB in schools, an implementation manual, and the white paper Next Generation Democracy.
We supported movements for social change. We partnered with national and international organizations working for racial justice, healthy communities, and youth voice, helping them use PB to build power and democracy.
After a year of growth, now is the time to take this work to the next level. PB is no longer an experiment. We know that it works. It should be a core part of every government – in schools, universities, public housing, cities, states, and federal agencies.
With your support, this future is possible. Together, we can build a more participatory and inclusive democracy.
Thank you for joining us!
Executive Director & Co-Founder