PBP Working with The White House to Connect Open Data to Participatory Budgeting

The Participatory Budgeting Project is thrilled to partner with the White House’s new Opportunity Project to plug new data into participatory budgeting processes across the US. This week we joined dozens of federal agencies, private sector partners, and non-profit organizations in launching the project at the White House.

Opportunity Project

The Opportunity Project is a new open data effort that puts data and tools in the hands of civic leaders, community organizations, and families to help them navigate information about critical resources such as housing, transportation, and schools. The Administration has released a unique package of Federal and local datasets in an easy-to-use format, and is working with private and non-profit partners to get this data in the hands of community members and local leaders.

The Project compiles data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey; the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Commerce, and Agriculture; and local datasets from eight cities, with information on community assets such as playgrounds, grocery stores, and health clinics. 

As The Opportunity Project Fact Sheet explains, PBP will enable communities to make better budget decisions by incorporating Opportunity Project data and tools into participatory budgeting processes across the country so that participants can have easier access to meaningful community data.

Currently, hundreds of budget delegates in PB processes across the country are reviewing thousands of spending ideas proposed by community members each year, and developing these ideas into projects for the ballot. During this proposal development process we try to connect budget delegates with relevant data and resources to help them develop projects that address the greatest community needs.

“Open data is an essential building block for informed public participation,” said Josh Lerner, PBP Executive Director. “We are excited to work with the White House to incorporate the new open data sets into participatory budgeting processes through interactive maps, graphs, and other platforms so that communities can allocate tax dollars to the greatest local needs. We will partner with software developers and local organizations to make this data accessible and useful for the thousands of people directly deciding how to spend public budgets through participatory budgeting.”

Take a look at The Opportunity Project website for more info, and share your ideas for how we should use it through our PB2 process, which lets you propose and vote on new projects to improve PB.