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PBP News: PBConference; New PB report; Meet an 8th grade budget delegate; Seattle Youth lead citywide PB


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We’re busy on the frontlines of democracy as we welcome the fall! We have marked our calendars for major events, expanded our PB family in Greensboro and New York, and reflected on past work with one of our youngest delegates!

1. PB Conference: Call for proposals

The 4th International Conference on Participatory Budgeting in North America is coming to Boston, May 20-22, 2016.

Conference themes:

  • Youth power through PB
  • PB in practice
  • Measuring impact

Learn more and submit proposals at
Proposal deadline – December 18, 2015

Help us reach a wider audience by sharing the CFP on Facebook or Twitter – we need your help with outreach to get the most participation possible!

2. Seattle Launches Citywide Youth PB

If you’re a young person living in Seattle, consider joining other Seattle youth in managing over $700,000 this year through participatory budgeting. PBP is working alongside the City of Seattle to launch a citywide youth PB process over the next 8 months.


Seattle Participatory Budgeting is recruiting young people and youth-serving orgs to be steering committee members and oversee the process. Representatives from the Seattle Youth Commission and the City of Neighborhood Council will join youth leaders and resource organizations in Seattle to write the rules of the process in mid-December with assembly meetings beginning in January. Youth led PB is a great opportunity to create a strong platform for inclusive governance that speaks to all ages!

For information about the process visit the Seattle Department of Neighbors website.

3. Urban Justice Center Releases New PB Findings


Take a peek at “A People’s Budget,” the Community Development Project (CDP) at the Urban Justice Center’s new report on the fourth cycle of Participatory Budgeting in New York City!

CDP presents findings from PBNYC research and thousands of surveys that provide a comprehensive analysis of New York City’s 2014-2015 PB cycle. With more than $32 million decided by community members, PB continues to grow and resonate with residents and city officials.

Some key findings:

  • PBNYC expanded from 17,000 active community participants to more than 50,000 participants in one year!
  • Nearly 60% of PB voters identified as people of color
  • 30% of voters reported an annual household income of $25,000 or below
  • 28% of voters were born outside of the U.S.
  • Nearly a quarter of voters reported a barrier to voting in regular elections



Erin Markman, coordinator of the city-wide research board, tells us about community-driven research as PBNYC continues to expand.

4. Max leads the way

Max.jpgWe were excited to share the story from Alissa Schwartz about her son Max Drury and now we’ve got the story direct from the source!

Max – at 13 years old – was one of the youngest PB participants advocating for real change in his community. In 2014, he participated in the PB process in New York City’s District 39 under Council Member Brad Lander.  Max’s advocacy secured $225,000 for the PS 146/Middle school 448 Innovative Gym Renovation project. His commitment to the this project for the Brooklyn New School and its sister school the Brooklyn School for Collaborative Studies helped create a facility for students to enjoy dance and other fitness activities.

One year later, Max and Alissa met with us to reflect on their amazing PB experience!

Read the interview.

Elsewhere students in Arizona and San Jose have done more than learn about budgeting, they’ve made great decisions about how to allocate resources through participatory budgeting processes for their school budgets and Met High School from Sacramento is the newest school to give PB a try!

Learn more on our blog and spread the word by sharing our Participatory Budgeting in Schools information sheet.

More PB in News:

  • PB Greensboro works on bringing “equity, empowerment, community building, and transparency” to the table for its first Participatory Budgeting process — check out this video featuring our Greensboro staff and local PB facilitators

  • First PB meeting to be translated into Chinese for residents in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park — Chinese Community Weighs in on Sunset Park’s Budget

  • Dieppe residents as young as 11 years old start voting in Dieppe, N.B.

With love and democracy,

Participatory Budgeting Project

We’re a non-profit 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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