City of Cambridge: 2015 Participatory Budgeting Vote Video

Scout: Five Participatory Budgeting Proposals We Love

Emily Cassel
September 3, 2015

The project proposal period for the second round of participatory budgeting wrapped up on Monday, with ideas that were futuristic (using gym equipment to power an electrical grid), suggestions so nice that they popped up twice (Kendall and Central Square had residents requesting public, real-time transit screens) and submissions that were at least a little tongue in cheek (“Stop giving out licenses to build high priced condos in North Cambridge,” one concerned resident suggested. “You have done way too many and are extremely irresponsible for doing so. PLUS you can do it for FREE.”).

Read more Cambridge wants your votes on how to spend $600,000

Eric Levenson
August 17, 2015

A year after its residents voted to spend $320,000 on a public bathroom, the city of Cambridge is ready for its second go-round of participatory budgeting.T

his time, about $600,000 is up in the air, up from $528,000 total last year.

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Cambridge Chronicle: Cambridge seeks public's input on how to spend $600K

July 30, 2015

After a successful pilot process in 2014-15, the city launched its second participatory budgeting initiative in June by recruiting a 24-member steering committee to oversee the process. Participatory budgeting is a democratic process through which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.

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Cambridge Chronicle: Cambridge residents to decide fate of $600K as part of Participatory Budget

Sara Feijo
June 15, 2015

After a successful pilot, Cambridge kicked off its second Participatory Budgeting (PB) process this month.

This time around, however, the city is setting aside $600,000 from the fiscal 2017 budget for project ideas that will improve the community.

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Boston Globe: Making local government engaging

Dante Ramos
April 12, 2015

Something unusual happened in Cambridge the other night: There was a public meeting about capital budgeting, and yet somehow there was electricity in the air.

Last year, Cambridge set aside $500,000 for one-time projects, solicited 380 proposals for how to use it, and set up a series of committees to winnow them down. Residents age 12 and up could choose among the 20 best pitches. More than 2,700 Cantabrigians voted, either on paper or online, and scores of people crowded a room at the Cambridge Senior Center Tuesday to await the results.


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Cambridge Chronicle: Free Wi-Fi, trees, public toilet top citizens' budget choices for Cambridge

Monica Jimenez
April 8, 2015

Bicycle repair stations, public trees and free outdoor Wi-Fi will be coming soon to Cambridge if approved by the City Council this spring, but one benefit has already arrived: a participatory budget tradition.

In a crowded awards ceremony April 7 at the Cambridge Citywide Senior Center, city officials announced six winning ideas from a first-ever process allowing Cambridge residents to choose exactly where and how to spend $500,000 of the city's free cash.

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Cambridge Day: Public toilet, new trees, outdoor Wi-Fi win bulk of participatory budgeting’s $500,000

Marc Levy
April 7, 2015, revised April 27, 2015

The results of Cambridge’s $500,000 experiment in participatory budgeting were announced Tuesday, with six projects announced as getting funded8: free Wi-Fi in six outdoor spaces; a 24-hour access public toilet near Central Square; computer equipment for the Community Learning Center on Western Avenue; up to 350 bilingual books for children learning English; bike repair stations with tools and bike pumps to be installed around the city; and 100 new trees with educational signs.

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Boston Globe: Cambridge lets the public decide how to spend $500,000

Steve Annear
March 27, 2015

Fancy an outdoor restroom with contextual artwork and solar panels? Perhaps some workout equipment at the park where you could flex some muscle is more appealing.

In Cambridge, it could happen.

Those are among the ideas submitted by residents as the city opens up its budget process for public input on how to spend a half-million dollars.

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