We did it!

Yesterday was a big day for democracy, from the re-enfranchisement of 1.4 million voters in Florida to an upsurge in turnout across the US. It was also a big day for participatory budgeting: New York City voters approved a city charter revision that will create a citywide PB process!

In a landslide vote, New Yorkers voted YES on Ballot Proposal #2, creating a Civic Engagement Commission tasked with setting up citywide PB. We expect this process to more than double the size of PB in the US and to raise the bar for PB around the world. We’re thrilled that Proposals #1 and #3 also passed with huge support, to make it easier for diverse New Yorkers to run for office and serve on community boards.

A better democracy really is possible!

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We’re so proud to have worked with an all-star team of #YesYesYesNYC partners– especially the NY Civic Engagement Table and Council Member Brad Lander – to educate voters. We couldn’t have done this without generous volunteers who helped with materials, publicity, and texting over 130,000 voters! Special thanks to the Mertz Gilmore Foundation and the North Star Fund for supporting the expansion of PB this year!

We’re grateful to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Mayor’s Charter Revision Commission for creating space on the ballot for big new ideas that expand what democracy can be. As pundits turn to the 2020 elections, we’re looking beyond elections. We’re making structural changes that build a more participatory democracy. A democracy where we can all make the decisions that affect our lives, where we can really govern.

Stay tuned for more info about next steps, and how you can take part.

p.s. Please donate now or sign up as a PB Amplifier to help us make the most of this huge opportunity, and push for the biggest and best PB yet!

About Josh Lerner

Josh is co-founder and Co-Executive Director of the Participatory Budgeting Project. He has over 15 years of experience developing, researching, and working with leading community engagement programs across North America, Latin America, and Europe. He is the author of Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics, Everyone Counts: Could Participatory Budgeting Change Democracy?, and over 20 articles.

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