April 2014 Newsletter: NYC Vote Results, New Report on 5 Years of PBP, May Celebration

New Report: The First 5 Years of PBP

5 Years of PBP Report
Just a few years ago, few people in North America had heard of participatory budgeting, and even fewer thought it would work here. We’ve worked tirelessly to prove that it can, and five years later, we’re taking a step back to see how far we’ve come, with your support and participation. Our new report “Real Money, Real Power: The First Five Years of The Participatory Budgeting Project” tracks our work to grow PB from Chicago’s 49th ward to the White House, bringing to life a new form of governance in over a dozen cities in the US and Canada.

If you’ve been with us for the ride, take a look at how far we’ve come. If you’re new to PB, this is a perfect way to get caught up!

Our First 5 Years, By the Numbers:

  • 46,000 PB participants
  • $45,000,000 allocated to address community needs
  • 20 PB processes in 13 cities across the U.S. and Canada
  • 20 cities organizing for PB
  • 34 elected officials brought closer to their constituents
  • 9 fantastic staff members
  • 200 dedicated supporters like you!

May 8th, Celebrate PBP in NYC!

SaveTheDateMay8 (1)We’re just a few weeks away from our first-ever benefit! With five years under our belt, we’re excited to celebrate the many PB milestones we’ve seen in such a short time, with our friends and supporters. Tickets are cheaper in advance so get them now! Help us party and grow the PB movement at the same time!

And if you’re in NYC, we’d also love to see you at our office warming party and the book launch for Josh Lerner’s Making Democracy Fun, on April 18th!

NYC Votes Big!

PBNYC Voting 2014
It was another record-breaking year for the largest PB process in the U.S.! Over 16,600 New York City residents went to the polls earlier this month to decide how to spend over $14 million. Among the dozens of winning projects – all proposed and developed by community members – were a community garden in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, the BOOKlyn Shuttle, and playground upgrades at five public housing developments!

With nearly half of NYC’s 51 districts slated to participate next year – representing at least a 120% increase – and new PB staff support from City Council, this is just the beginning for PBNYC! We’re excited to continue working with Community Voices Heard, OpenPlans, the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, and our other partners to support this expansion.

Conference Proposals Deadline – April 21st


Want to connect with hundreds of PB leaders from around the world at the 3rd International Conference on PB in North America? Want to share your skills, expertise or PB experience? Have an idea for an action-oriented, interactive session? Great! You can still submit a session proposal – the deadline is April 21st.

Please visit the conference website for more information about how to submit. Send any questions to conference@participatorybudgeting.org. If you know someone who would submit a stellar session proposal but might not know about this, please share (download a pdf copy here).

Upcoming Events

Want to get involved or learn more about PB? Join us at one of these events, or volunteer to help with outreach, planning, and more! Click on the links for event details.

Conference Talks by PBP Staff:

More PBP events and speaking dates coming soon. Let us know if you want us to come to your city!

PBP sticker

A non-profit organization that empowers people to decide together how to spend public money

What You Can Do

1. Spread the Word

TwitterWe’re tweeting! Follow us @PBProject!
facebook iconLike us and get access to news and resources.

2. Donate to PBP

Invest in participatory democracy by making a tax-deductible donation. Or if you’re in the New York area, join us for our first-ever benefit!

Donate + Vote

3. Volunteer
Can you contribute a few hours a month to help PB grow? Do you have experience with outreach, facilitation, fundraising, communications, or design? Sign up to volunteer.

4. Organize for PB
Want to start a PB process in your city, school or neighborhood? Get started here.

New: PBP Office Hours
Do you have questions about participatory budgeting? Curious about how to get PB started in your community? Doing research on PB for a paper?

Call in to PBP’s Office Hours! Once a month, we’ll be holding an open webinar with PBP staff to discuss your questions. The first call will be Wednesday, April 23rd, 12-1pm Eastern Time. You must register here in advance to participate – see more info here.

Featured Book
MDF cover

The new book by PBP Executive Director Josh Lerner is now out! Making Democracy Fun explores how the tools of game design can be used to fix democracy. Two chapters focus on participatory budgeting at Toronto Community Housing. More info on upcoming book talks and how to get your copy at joshlerner.net. Join us at the Brooklyn Book Launch and PBP Office Warming Party on Friday April 18th!

Featured Article
PBP Associate and co-founder Gianpaolo Baiocchi takes a closer look at the evolution of PB as it has traveled the globe in “Participatory Budgeting as if Emancipation Mattered,” with Ernesto Ganuza.

Featured Letter
Last year, PBP supporters stepped up to help us fund a new PB intro video. Check out this heartfelt letter about how we’re inspiring high school squash players in Boston. Thank you to all our donors who made this possible!
SquashBusters Letter

In the Press
Volunteer Jimmy Li brings a lot of heart to the PB vote in New York City’s District 38, where participatory budgeting is engaging recent immigrants in community-driven change, as Open City Magazine reports.

California voters passed a new statewide tax in 2012 that’s bringing millions of dollars to the state’s K-12 school districts, and PB can help with local funding decisions, writes PBP Project Coordinator Ginny Browne in a guest blog post for the California Endowment.

The St. Louis American lays out the plan for PB Saint Louis’ first-ever week of PB voting.

new college scholarship program created through PB in Vallejo, California, is now accepting applications, reports the Vallejo Times-Herald, and up to 75 students will be chosen to receive funding!

The Knight Digital Media Center at the University of Southern California discusses the ongoing statewide PB advocacy effort in California.

St. Petersburg Tribune in Florida covers the campaign by members of the Peoples’ Budget Review to push for an amendment to the city’s charter that would make participatory budgeting the law.

PBP T-Shirts, Postcards, Magnets, and Stickers!
Check out our new postcards, and send us an email to order PBP t-shirts, stickers, or magnets!