VICTORY: NYC Voters Approve Citywide PB

Last week was big 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 moment 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. This is the first time (of hopefully many!) that PB was approved by voters in a referendum.

Read more about the Ballot Proposal and the new citywide PB process here.

“Public Money” - New PBS Documentary on PB!

PB has never been more beautiful! PBS’ acclaimed documentary film series POV (Point of View) released Public Money, a stunning short film on PB in New York City (PBNYC). Produced by our friends at Meerkat Media, the 15-minute film follows community members in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park neighborhood as they launch PB in the district.

Want to bring Public Money to your community?
See more about how you can share the video or host a screening here. 

Arcade Fire’s Will Butler talks PB with Josh Lerner

We know that PB rocks, but it was great to hear from a certified grade-A rocker that it really, truly does. We were fans of Arcade Fire already, but when we saw Will’s tweet about PB back in April, we knew we had to talk to him.

Turns out that, like us, Will Butler is an advocate for a more inclusive, participatory democracy. He holds meetings with community groups after his shows on tour so his fans can learn more and become politically activated in their communities. He even goes to PBNYC meetings in his neighborhood in Brooklyn.

Josh sat down with Will to learn more about his experiences and his ideas for civic engagement. Read or listen to their conversation here!

PB 30 Years On: How has it Evolved?

The Hewlett Foundation and Omidyar Network recently funded a major new report on the lessons learned from 30 years of PB. The results were fascinating. PB has grown from a local solution in Brazil, to a global experiment in democracy at all levels of government. The technology revolution of the last few decades has opened up even more possibilities for evolution down the road.

We hosted a webinar about the state and future of PB with report authors Stephanie McNulty and Brian Wampler that’s more than worth a listen!

Learn more about the report and listen to the webinar here. 

Meet Our Newest Team Members!


Antonnet Johnson — Participation Design Strategist

Antonnet assesses, designs, and pilots new processes for supporting PB in schools as well as runs user experience testing to support the design of innovative technology tools that can be used for PB both in and out of schools. Learn more about her here!


Loren Peabody — Research Fellow

Loren works in the Participation Lab where he helps develop better understandings of how PB processes work and what impacts they have on participants, communities, and local governments. Learn more about him here!

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Cyndi Tercero-Sandoval — Board Member

Cyndi is the Student Support Services Manager for the Phoenix Union High School District. There, she has worked in student services and dropout prevention for over 24 years. Since 2016, Cyndi has coordinated PB at PUHSD, where she has expanded PB to 15 schools spending district funds.

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Chelsea Tu — Board Member

Chelsea is currently a Senior Attorney at the Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment. In her previous role as a Staff Attorney at Public Advocates in 2017, Chelsea collaborated with PBP staff to successfully convince the Bay Area’s transportation planning agency to spend $1 million in transportation money through Participatory Budgeting.

On Wednesday, November 28th, please join us in New York at a celebration and fundraiser hosted by the Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture. Our superstar board members will host, PB leaders will share the latest updates, and you’ll get to mingle with some very exciting special guests - announcing soon!

Help us push participatory democracy and PB even farther. We have limited spots - reserve yours now!

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