Overcoming Barriers to Volunteer Participation

April 9, 2020

Real money, real power. This is more than a catchphrase, it is a requirement of participatory budgeting (PB). Of course, PB requires one more key ingredient: real people participating and leading the way. Participants from the cycle 7 PBNYC vote. PB is driven largely by volunteers who take on the responsibility, commitment, and power of…

close up photos of peoples hands at a table with participatory budgeting materials

The State of PB During COVID-19

April 7, 2020

Photo Credit: Alison Boulier Last week, we had the opportunity to connect virtually with partners, participatory practitioners, and communities leading PB across Canada and the U.S. To date, we have heard from nearly 40 PB practitioners and one thing remains clear: PB matters in this challenging moment.  We discussed the impact COVID-19 has had on…

Participatory Budgeting Transforms Schools, Students, and Communities

April 2, 2020

Real leadership opportunities transform students by giving them the chance to use their voices in meaningful ways. Participatory Budgeting (PB) in schools has proven to be precisely that kind of opportunity for students across the United States. PB is a process that empowers community members by engaging them to decide how to spend part of…

Signing off and 5 next steps

March 26, 2020

Hi friends, This definitely isn’t how I’d planned it. When I announced last year that I’d step down as Co-Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project by April 2020, I wasn’t expecting to align this transition with the biggest global pandemic in a century. But here we are and March 31 will be my last day at PBP,…

Resilience in the face of uncertainty: PBP’s Coronavirus Response

March 18, 2020

Resilience in the face of uncertainty We know that your inboxes, social media, and text message threads are inundated with COVID-19 news and updates. We are writing today to let you know we are thinking of you and how we support one another in this moment of uncertainty. PBP stands in deep solidarity with all…

PB in Action in Durham, North Carolina

March 2, 2020

In May 2018, North Carolina launched PB Durham where the Durham City Council allocated $2.4 million out of the $500 million budget for residents 13 years or older to decide upon for use in one-time projects. The Durham City council appointed a 15-member steering committee for PB in the city and hired a team including…

PBP Awarded for PB Work on Transportation Equity in California

February 26, 2020

The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) has empowered more than 300,000 people by implementing participatory  budgeting (PB) to directly decide how to spend almost $240 million in public funds in 17 cities, across a number of different issues affecting local communities. One of these issues is transportation infrastructure. Conventional transportation planning leaves too many communities without…

Participatory Budgeting: An Idea You Should Steal

January 21, 2020

On December 10th, PBP’s Co-Executive Director, Shari Davis was invited to join a number of problem solvers from across the country to speak at the The Philadelphia Citizen’s 2nd annual Ideas We Should Steal Festival. This festival is an annual full-day convening that brings together the most innovative urban thinkers and global thought leaders together…

Celebrating this year’s biggest wins: revitalizing democracy in 2020

December 20, 2019

Happy Holidays from all of us at PBP! After a busy 2019 launching exciting new projects like Democracy Beyond Elections and PBCan, and working with incredible communities like students in Merced and educators in NYC, we took some time in November, during our staff retreat, to look at the big picture. We want to extend a big thank you…

Leadership Change at PBP

December 17, 2019

Dear PBP supporters, I’m writing to share big news for me and PBP. In April 2020, I’ll step down as Co-Executive Director at PBP and transition out of the organization. My fellow Co-ED Shari Davis will remain as Executive Director.  Fifteen years ago, I flew to Brazil to convene a discussion on participatory budgeting (PB)…

Democracy Beyond Elections

December 11, 2019

Our systemically undemocratic system of governance privileges the interests of the elite over the majority. In an age of constant feedback loops and distributed power – from smartphones to YouTube to #MeToo – access to democracy remains largely limited to occasionally electing a few leaders to decide for us. This structural inequality may work well…

Crowd of people with some raising their hands. Caption: How Participatory Budgeting is Improving Democracy, Shari Davis

Shari Davis Interview on Building a New America with Jonathan Arias

December 5, 2019

Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) Co-Executive Director Shari Davis, recently joined Jonathan Arias on an episode of the Building A New America podcast, a show that reconsiders how laws that were created centuries ago, shape our lives today. In the episode titled, “How Participatory Budgeting is Improving Democracy with Obama Fellow Shari Davis,” Shari and Jonathan…