PB4 Kickoff and Winning Project Updates

Participatory Budgeting is back!

Cambridge's fourth PB process is about to begin. This time, we will collect ideas in June and July about how YOU would spend $800,000 on one-time capital projects to improve the community. Winning projects from past PB cycles include kinetic energy tiles, solar panels for the Main Library roof, bike repair stations, a freezer van for prepared food rescue, water bottle fill stations, and many others. 

Winning Project Updates

You can follow the progress of winning PB projects on our website. All 100 trees from the first cycle were planted last fall, 7 of the 8 bike repair stations have been installed, and Public Works has identified a preferred location for the Central Square public toilet and is working to mitigate underground conflicts.

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PB bike repair station in front of the Central Square post office

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Read the PB3 Evaluation

Marcia Mundt, a public policy doctoral student and research assistant at UMass Boston, completed an independent evaluation of the City's third PB process in January 2017 to try to gage the impact of PB in the community thus far and to identify strengths and challenges in the current PB process.

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Many thanks to Marcia for her meticulous work putting this report together and for helping us to improve future PB cycles!


Healthy Trees for a Healthy Cambridge: Project Update

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In the fall of 2017, Public Works completed installation of all 100 trees from the winning Healthy Trees for a Healthy Cambridge project from the City's first PB cycle. This marks the fourth PB project to be completed from that cycle.

Please see below for a list of all 100 tree locations. Public Works plans to distribute gator bags, hoses, and tree care literature to the abutting property owners in spring 2017. The total budget for this project is $120,000.

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PB3 Vote Results

4,730 Cambridge residents age 12 and older voted in the City's third Participatory Budgeting process - a 13% increase over last year! 3,769 people voted online and 961 voted on paper ballots.

This time, 7 projects won funding! The voting breakdown is shown below:

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Projects on the PB3 Ballot

What's on the PB3 ballot?

Over 60 volunteer Budget Delegates worked hard this fall to research all 548 ideas submitted by community members over the summer and develop the following 20 proposals for the ballot.  Make sure you vote for your favorite PB projects from December 3-9!

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Budget Delegates Submit PB3 Proposals to City Staff for Final Vetting

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Budget Delegates meet with City staff at the second PB Speed Consulting session in October

Last week, Budget Delegates submitted 36 proposals for final vetting and cost estimates by City staff. The following list shows the proposals organized by Budget Delegate Committee.

Please note that not all of these proposals will make it to the ballot in December - some will not be deemed feasible by City staff, while others won't make the final cut by Budget Delegates since each of the five committees can only put four proposals on the ballot.  There will be a total of 20 projects on the ballot. 

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PB Spotlight: Meet Volunteers Emily Zevon and Peter DeGregorio

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Two PB Outreach Committee members interviewed each other to find out why they became involved with Participatory Budgeting in Cambridge and why they love this community.  Read on to find out what Emily and Peter said...

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Budget Delegates "Speed Consult" with Department Staff

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Last Wednesday night, over 30 Budget Delegates and 16 City staff from 8 departments met for a Participatory Budgeting "speed consulting" session in City Hall's Sullivan Chamber.

Over the course of an hour and a half, Budget Delegates from the 'Bridge Builders; Health, Environment & Safety; Parks & Recreation; and Streetsmarts Committees moved around the room to talk about PB ideas with staff from the Community Development, Electrical, Executive, IT, Human Services, Library, Public Works, and Traffic Departments. 

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Proposal Development: Week 1

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Last week, Budget Delegates on the 'Bridge Builders (Culture & Community Facilities); Health, Environment & Safety; Parks & Recreation; and Streetsmarts Committees came together for their first official meetings.  Each will meet on a different night of the week, with other committee members doing research remotely or conducting site visits during the day.

After getting to know each other and establishing ground rules and shared expectations for the proposal development work ahead, Budget Delegates started reading through their idea lists to get more familiar with the variety of projects that fall within their purviews.  Each committee used notecards with individual ideas written on them to discuss projects and divide them into subgroups, as the 'Bridge Builders are doing in the photo above.

This week, Budget Delegates will continue initial research of the projects in their subgroup and will prepare questions to ask City staff at the first Department "speed consulting" session on September 7 at City Hall.


PB3 Budget Delegates Get to Work

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Last week, over 50 volunteer Budget Delegates met for the first time at Budget Delegate Orientation at the Central Square Library.  There was great energy and enthusiasm in the room as they got to know each other through a high stakes game of bingo, learned more about the proposal development phase, and chose the committee they will work on this fall.

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Their job over the next few months is to research all 548 ideas submitted by community members in June and July and distill and develop them into the final 20 proposals that will appear on the PB ballot in December.

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