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PBP Spring 2024 Newsletter

Headlines and Highlights

Vote in PB2!

Graphic with dark blue background with icons and titles of four PB2 proposals

How should we spend $20,000 to advance democracy? You decide! We invite you to take a few minutes to review the proposals and cast your ballot online in PB2

PB2 is your opportunity to do participatory budgeting with us. These four final proposals came from community ideas that we gathered and worked collaboratively with our budget delegates to craft into proposals for you to vote on. PBP will implement the winning proposals using our operational budget.

Voting is open through March 31st. Submit your vote today!

Updated Website Resource Library

Have you checked out the new and improved Resource Library on our updated website? Wherever you find yourself in your journey toward participatory democracy, we have the tools to meet you and your community where you’re at! 

Now you can easily navigate through all of PBP’s resources – from one-pagers and reports to videos and zines, and even sort by type, region, year, or focus area. Explore our resources whether you’re ready to learn, implement or practice, and remember to share with your networks! 

P.S. – We want to hear from you!  As you explore the library as well as the rest of our revamped website, please share your feedback with us via our easy to use form!

Health and Democracy Webinar

Our Advocacy Manager Anita Dos Santos recently joined a webinar with County Health Rankings & Roadmaps to talk about engaging communities in budget decisions to build power.

She discussed how communities could adopt participatory budgeting as a tool to address structural and social determinants of health while building community power. Alongside co-panelist and PB practitioner Benji Bittle from Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, Anita also dug into the challenges that arise in advocacy and implementation of PB, ways to design for equity, and the importance of moving at the speed of trust. Catch the replay!

L.A. REPAIR Vote Launches

Voting will kick off for L.A. REPAIR on March 15th – April 7th for folks in the following neighborhoods: Arleta – Pacoima, Harbor Gateway – Wilmington – Harbor City, West Adams – Baldwin Village – Leimert Park, Westlake, Skid Row, and South Los Angeles. In this PB process, community organizations submitted program proposals aligned with ideas submitted by community members last year. 

Omar Cardenas, Human relations advocate for the City of Los Angeles, shared their experience of participatory budgeting:  “Working with the community in L.A. REPAIR has been a journey of both growth and amazement. It’s fantastic to see how everyone comes together, sharing ideas and making decisions that impact our neighborhoods… From brainstorming to voting, every moment shows the strength and resiliency of each neighborhood. This experience has taught me much about the importance of direct democratic processes on a City scale.”

 After a careful review, they are now on a ballot to give the people in the community a chance to decide how to spend $5.4 million dollars. Check out the L.A. REPAIR website for the latest, including upcoming events, voter guides by zone, and more!

DBE News and Events

The Democracy Beyond Elections Coalition is forging ahead in the first quarter of 2024. In addition to the Planning Committee, we now have three other committees to move the work of the 2023/2024 Strategic Plan forward!

The Evaluation and Research Committee is building impact reports to inform best practices and lessons learned from past community-led recovery campaigns. Meanwhile, the Popular Education and Communications Committee is seeking to assist advocates and organizers who may want to connect candidates and incumbents to participatory democracy principles and practice in the 2024 election cycle. Finally, our PD Practitioners are planning and facilitating workshops throughout the year  to share information on participatory, direct, and deliberative democracy. 

RSVP to join our network  of practitioners, advocates, organizers, and researchers on March 27th at 3pm EST for a learning session on Citizen’s Assemblies!

Join PB Soundboards

PB Soundboards is a virtual space and event series for participatory budgeting (PB) practitioners, dedicated to problem solving and practice sharing. Each month, we hear directly from a practitioner about a real issue they’re grappling with–and then we workshop potential solutions together. It’s helmed by PBP and the NYC Civic Engagement Commission (CEC).

Last month on Leap Day 2024, we celebrated our fourth event in the PB Soundboards series with a focus on Youth Leadership in PB. 

If you’re someone who has helped implement or participated in a PB process – and you’re invested in helping improve participatory democracy practice – this is for you!  Fill out the intake survey to sign up!


Tools for Democracy

How do we ensure that community voices lead and equity is centered in civic processes?

The Spectrum of Community Engagement to Community Ownership is an orientation and relationship/power mapping tool that can be used in community organizing and shared spaces to engage in a constructive conversation about what’s possible, address gaps, unlock opportunities, and redirect our processes towards community ownership.

This tool was developed in 2019 by Rosa González of Facilitating Power in partnership with Movement Strategy Center. Dive in via our explainer blog and try it on at your next organizing meeting!

Partner Highlights

Nonprofit Quarterly and Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) collaborated to produce a series of powerful articles about the intersection of racial and economic justice titled A Vision for Black Lives: An Economic Policy Agenda.

Each article in the 6-part series touches on a approach and focus for how we can and must move to community control, reparations, thriving communities and ultimately Black liberation. PBP’s Director of Strategic Communications, Rahel Teka contributed to the series with an insightful piece on how participatory budgeting can be a powerful tool for economic justice and racial justice.

Read the full series and join the contributors at the event below!

RSVP to join the contributors for a webinar on Wednesday, March 20th from 2pm – 3:30pm ET to dig into the strategies for economic and racial justice movement activists and organizations are advancing, including reparations in philanthropy, addressing housing affordability, and drug war reparations. The webinar will include a Q+A.

Our partners at Participatory Budgeting Oregon have launched a charter amendment campaign called Community Budgeting for All Campaign. The amendment will require the City to implement an annual or biannual participatory budgeting process accessible to all residents that allocates 2% of General Fund discretionary resources. PBP has endorsed the campaign!

They are currently gathering signatures to get their amendment on the ballot for the November 2024 election. Find out more and support!

PBP helps communities decide how to improve using public money.

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