Summer is a time for getting out of your house and spending time in your neighborhood; participatory budgeting (PB) helps connect your community to make your spaces BETTER. You’re an expert in where you live, and you know what it takes to improve the public spaces in your neighborhood.
New Video: PB in Schools
Are you part of a school community – a student, parent, teacher, or school administrator? Our new video shows how PB in schools can bring your school community together and boost school engagement. It follows participants from Phoenix who used PB to spend school district-wide discretionary funds. Start PB in your school community by watching and sharing this video and downloading our free guide to PB in Schools.
This video was created because our donors voted for it in PB2, PB for PB.
Our impacts: PBP’s Annual Report 2016-17
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.
Read the full report online including more impacts and a letter from our executive director.
New Resources to Launch PB in your City
Mapping. Thanks to a generous grant from our friends at Carto, our PB mapping is much more beautiful making it easier to understand and easier to use!
Enjoy this Case Study? PBP is creating an advocacy and PB participation map later this year — are you ready to add your city to our other maps? Email email@example.com to get connected!
Planning. When you’ve decided that PB is a good fit for your community, it’s time to get down to the nuts and bolts.
Our new Scoping Toolkit is a guide to starting PB for officials and staff, filled with practical guidance, examples, and sample materials to help you identify what it will take to launch PB in your city, town, or neighborhood.
Your participation is the magic that makes our work possible and you’ve shown up from all around the world to support PBP this spring.
2 Parties! You joined us in NYC and Oakland (our first West Coast benefit) to celebrate the leaders who make PB possible! Your energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to change inspire our work to build democracy and give communities real power over real money. Plus you all looked so good! Check yourselves and your friends out — NYC Facebook Album; Oakland Facebook Album
PB2. Almost 200 people voted to directly decide how to spend $30,000 of our budget to make PB better. Last year you funded the video (above) for PB in Schools and this year we’re excited to build:
- Map of Funded PB Projects Pilot – to show what can be done with PB;
- PB for Homeless Services Toolkit – to engage homeless people in real decision-making through PB;
- Video: PB Advocacy for Elected officials – to make the case directly to decision makers that PB is a win-win-win for them, their communities, and democraticy.
Read more about the winners here.
Trainings to win, improve, and implement PB
For PBP’s first-ever Summer Implementation Institute, we’re bringing together experts in PB with experts in getting out the vote, fostering deliberation, and engaging communities where there are real barriers to participation.
RSVP to join the final free webinar on July 26 or, if you’re in NYC;
Register now for our in-person workshop hosted in partnership with Public Agenda. Get ready to take your PB process to the next level this summer!
Introducing PB Training.
Learn more about what PB looks like in communities by attending these webinars hosted by IAP2 and led by Maria Hadden, Senior Project Manager. Register now for October 16-October 27, 2017.
PB for County Funds: Merced, CA
We’re always excited to see the start of a new PB process, but especially when it’s with funds that have never been decided by PB before in North America. With generous support from the California Endowment, we are launching the first PB process for county funds in Merced County, California. This will also be our first rural PB process, at a time when it’s more important than ever to engage rural communities and rebuild their trust in government.
Our Technical Assistance will also be led by Francesco Tena, our newest Project Manager! Francesco comes to us from the City of Boston where he supported the leadership of young people in the nation’s largest and most award-winning youth PB process.
Thank you for working with us to fix democracy by rebuilding the connections between government and the communities it serves.
Love and democracy,
PBP on the Road.
- Smart Cities Conference, NYC, Hadassah Damien, Manager of Engagement Technology presented on an “Open Minds, Open Data” panel, where the expert agreement was that “open data works best when all citizens are empowered to use it.”
- The International Observatory of Participatory Democracy, Montreal, Shari Davis, Director of Strategic Initiatives and Hadassah Damien, Manager of Engagement Technology, led a workshop on Technology Tools for Human-Centered Engagement.
- American Planning Association, National Planning Conference, New York City, Jennifer Godzeno, Deputy Director led two sessions: a roundtable on Cultural Competency in Planning, and a tour of PB-funded projects in Sunset Park, Brooklyn co-led with Rossanna Mercedes, Volunteer Coordinator.
Urban Design Forum, NYC, Jennifer Godzeno, Deputy Director, joined a panel with NYC government leaders on how to make the city budget process less painful, and more aligned with long term physical and social infrastructure goals.
New York Academy of Medicine, Partners in Health: Community Food Programs and Hospital Partnerships, New York City, Jennifer Godzeno, Deputy Director, led a round table on how participatory budgeting could guide allocation of billions of dollars spent annually by US hospitals on “community benefit” programs.
PB Campaigns in Action.
Working to build community and campaign power with PB.
- Portland, OR
- Knoxville, TN (2017 City Council)
- San Antonio, TX (Build Awareness)
- Louisville, KY – People’s Guide to the Budget (Build Awareness)
PB in the News.
- Participatory Budgeting: The People’s Budget. WNYC. (April 26, 2017)
Some of the things that they wanted to see funded that were not able to be funded through this project are things I might be able to fund out of my capital project budget. It opened my eyes to some of the things the community thought was important.
- VICTORY! Mayor Announces Plan for Air Conditioning in ALL NYC Public School Classrooms. (April 25, 2017)
This is also a big win for “participatory budgeting” (aka PBNYC). We have funded A/C units in our public schools through PBNYC … but the budget delegates came to realize that it was not fair or practical to solve this problem one school at a time. So we decided to work with schools around the city in a citywide campaign for a comprehensive solution. It really shows the power of PBNYC: when we get people involved, together, in making decisions about how we invest our resources, we can make great things happen.
- What is Participatory Budgeting? An Explainer. Rock the Vote. (May 25, 2017)
As the most diverse generation in our nation’s history, Participatory Budgeting may just be the solution your community needs to bridge the gap between representation and action.
- Next level participation in Niagara Falls. Niagara Gazette. (March 23, 2017)
We are presenting a budget that leverages $2.8 million in U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development funds into a $4.9 million action plan focused on neighborhood investment…. For the first time, the proposal includes participatory budgeting (PB).
- New Yorkers Clamor for Countdown Clocks at Bus Stops. Next City. (June 6, 2017)
It’s still rare to stumble upon a New York bus stop with a display telling you how many minutes will pass until the next bus appears. In the city’s most recent participatory budgeting cycle, New Yorkers voiced their displeasure with this, casting 10,986 votes — over 10 percent of all votes cast — to fund countdown clocks for their bus stops.
- Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and The Case Against Philanthropy As We Know It. America Magazine. (June 12, 2017)
Not all of these democratic developments depend on boutique software; to reach people most in need, they must not. Participatory budgeting, for instance, is a technique developed in Porto Alegre, Brazil, that has spread to U.S. cities like Chicago and New York.
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!