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Kicking off our Staff Spotlight Series!

PBP_Team Member Spotlight

Last year, the team at the Participatory Budgeting Project dove deep and took time to examine how we live into the values that guide our work, internally and externally. We tapped into our experiences and practice of participatory budgeting and led with the strongly held belief that we can do more, get further, and build stronger relationships when we work together.

As a community, we strive to bring people together across differences and support them in learning from each other, forging new bonds, and working together to achieve shared goals. In this spirit, we’re kicking off a Staff Spotlight Series to celebrate each member of our team, our undeniable interconnectedness, and our collective goal to reimagine democracy.

This Spotlight Series is an opportunity to celebrate each member of our team, our undeniable interconnectedness, and our collective goal to reimagine democracy. First up are Michael, Antonnet, and Ingrid. Keep reading to find out what brings them to the work they do, what brings them joy, and what they envision for a better world!

PBP_SpotlightSeries _Antonnet Dr. Antonnet Johnson, PhD – she/they 
Director of Research and Design

Playing the piano-I’ve still never owned one, and it’s hard to justify in a small NYC apartment, but it’s so cathartic to do something tactile like play an instrument. 

Participatory democracy creates opportunities for people to draw on their experiences and knowledge to brainstorm ideas for improving their community and putting those policies or projects into action. I think that until the country is ready for something drastic, these are viable, impactful inroads to a democracy that gives everyday people the chance to play a role in their governance beyond voting in elections.

PBP_Team Member Spotlight Michael Cusack – he/they 
Technical Assistance Project Manager

Carers and thinkers; misfits and rebels.

My vision or hope for the world is guided by values of care and cooperation, equity, and sustainability. How those values translate into practice is a question I think we have to figure out together, again and again.

PBP_SpotlightSeries_Ingrid Ingrid Haftel – she/her 
Director of Community Education 

It looks a lot like my beautiful and funny block in Flatbush. It feels like knowing my neighbors don’t have to worry about rent or food or healthcare or safety. It sounds like a song I know by heart, sung in a language I don’t understand.

How do you value leadership?

By giving it away.

Our work is grounded in community leadership, real decision-making power, and an ongoing deep commitment to equity. We’re so proud to celebrate what PBP and our partners accomplished together this past year. As we build momentum for the exciting new year, take a moment to reflect on 2021 with us and support what’s to come!


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PBP helps communities decide how to improve using public money.

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