Why we need participatory budgeting now

Is this the best we can do? A democracy where key decisions about our schools, immigration, and health are made without those who are most impacted?

We urgently need to defend our neighbors whose lives are threatened by government policy. At the same time, we need to fix the broken democracy that leads to these threatening policies. It’s time to stand up from our seats in the audience and step onto the stage of governing.

Participatory budgeting empowers immigrants, young people, and others who are left out of typical elections. It gives all of us the power to directly decide what government does. Real power, real voice.

At the Participatory Budgeting Project, we build the stages and microphones to amplify community voices.

Now it’s your turn. Each year, we collect ideas for how to empower communities through PB, we turn these ideas into proposals, and we invite you to vote on the proposals, to decide which get funded. It’s our own PB process for PB – called PB2.

Just like the budget delegates in other PB processes, we’re asking our volunteer PB Amplifiers to sort through the dozens of ideas and develop proposals for the ballot. If you believe in the transformative power of PB, can you sign up as a PB Amplifier now, to help out?

Students at Phoenix PB in Schools Training

Together, we can build a more participatory and inclusive democracy.

Thank you for stepping up!


Sign up as a PB Amplifier now to help develop proposals for the ballot. Or donate now to increase the pot of money to fund these proposals.


About Josh Lerner

Josh is co-founder and executive director of PBP. He has over 15 years of experience developing, researching, and working with leading community engagement programs across North America, Latin America, and Europe. He is the author of Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics, Everyone Counts: Could Participatory Budgeting Change Democracy?, and over 20 articles.