Dear PBNYC Supporter,
Now is the chance to make real democracy available for all New Yorkers!
I’m writing to ask you to join your neighbors in supporting a letter calling for an expanded and more inclusive Participatory Budgeting in New York City (PBNYC) process.
After six successful years, PBNYC has established itself as the largest PB process in North America! That’s because people like you have shown up every year and participated in a variety of ways. But there still more to do.
Help make PBNYC a staple for civic engagement in every neighborhood, with meaningful budgets, and participation from everyone — not just a few.
Read the attached letter to the Mayor show your support by signing on as an individual or group. It just takes a minute to make your voice heard.
We’ll keep you up to date on our advocacy and let you know how else you can support PB in NYC.
Love and democracy,
PBP & Community Voices Heard (CVH)
PPS. The NYC primary is on September 12 — and the primary typically dictates who wins in November. Now’s the time to encourage your Council Members and candidates to commit to PB and to support this letter to the Mayor!
Dear Mayor de Blasio,
We’re inviting you to a relatively easy opportunity to build a legacy of innovation in democracy and civic engagement. With a modest investment, your office can build upon the success of Participatory Budgeting in NYC (PBNYC), to demonstrate that you listen to the people of New York City and that we’re a global leader for democracy on par with Paris.
In Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo launched the world’s largest participatory budget (PB). Between 2014 and 2020, the city has committed €500 million (about 5% of its capital fund) to be spent through participatory budgeting. In 2016, 158,964 people voted on how to spend nearly €100 million, choosing city-wide projects, local district projects, and school projects.
You have an opportunity to match Paris’s leadership by enhancing the infrastructure of PBNYC — a process that has engaged 31 Council members, hundreds of organizations, and over 100,000 community members in the last 6 years across all five boroughs. While PBNYC at the Council district level is an exciting model for democratic governance, most participatory budgets around the world, like Paris, use a larger citywide process with more resources and central infrastructure.
We ask that you show your support for civic engagement in New York City by taking new leadership on PB, through one or more of the following initiatives:
- Build on the existing PBNYC process by funding additional community projects across the city
- Contribute $30 million per year, like Mayor Hidalgo, to fund citywide projects prioritized through PB. Projects are already identified and prioritized by voters – Mayoral funding could results in dozens more high-visibility community projects, with minimal additional work by the administration.
- Provide matching funds for PB projects that align with agency missions.
- Channel spending ideas that are generated through PB but not eligible or appropriate for Council Member funds to the appropriate city agencies.
- Create a “fast track” system that expedites winning PB projects through city agencies, so investments prioritized by the community hit the ground quickly.
- Take PB in NYC to the next level by launching a high profile citywide process for schools, youth, public health, or public housing
- Communities would be engaged to decide how to spend a portion of the DOE, DYCD, DOHMH, or NYCHA budget.
- This could be modeled after Toronto, where public housing residents decide 13% of the housing authority budget, or Boston, where the Mayor funds a PB process exclusively for youth, or Phoenix, where the Phoenix Union High School District has launched the first school-district PB process.
Would you be open to meeting to discuss these possibilities for establishing NYC as a global leader in civic engagement?