It’s full steam ahead for the Participatory Budgeting Project!

I’m happy to share some great news from our friends at the Participatory Budgeting Project. PBP is an organizational member of NCDD, and I’m proud to serve on their Advisory Board and to have attended both of their conferences in New York and Chicago.

PBP-logoEarlier this month, PBP announced that they’re embarking on a new collaboration with one of California’s foremost foundations, The California Endowment (TCE). As part of a new grant, PBP will support local organizing for Participatory Budgeting in 14 low-income communities across the state, through the foundation’s Building Healthy Communities (BHC) program.

BHC is a 10-year initiative focused on empowering residents in these 14 communities to eradicate health inequalities through community organizing and policy change. PB presents a unique opportunity to channel public resources toward services and infrastructure that promote health and foster community economic development.

Already, PBP is are working with groups in Merced, San Diego, Long Beach, and Oakland to launch PB in neighborhoods, cities, and school districts. In addition to their technical assistance work, PBP will hold the first California-based conference for PB practitioners and advocates in September 2014 at TCE’s facilities in Oakland.

In addition to THAT big news, here’s another whopper:

It was announced a couple days ago that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is planning to take Alderman Joe Moore’s Participatory Budget efforts citywide in Chicago! As many of you know, Alderman Moore of Chicago’s 49th Ward is known for being the first public official in the U.S. to institutionalize PB. For five years now, Moore has put his annual $1.3 million discretionary budget in the hands of community residents, allowing them to weigh in on capital projects they want done.

Now the idea is going citywide with the proposed creation of a manager of participatory budgeting in Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2014 city budget. Read more here.

Congratulations, Josh Lerner, Maria Hadden, and everyone else responsible for the Participatory Budgeting Project’s success!

Interested in learning more about PB? A good place to go is the “participatory budgeting” tag in the NCDD Resource Center, where we’ve indexed 31 great articles and other resources on PB.

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