Participatory Budgeting, by Jackson Rojas

Participatory Budgeting is a process of democratic deliberation from residents over 12 years. Residents can identify, discuss and prioritize spending projects. Also residents can make real decisions about how money is spent it. Then residents can learn more about the project in their community.

There are some advantages in different ways. It’s free, helps people in the community and all residents have a freedom opportunity to choose a project with the best benefits for all. One example is new chairs for Cambridge Public Schools. This benefits students, parents and workers in these schools. Another project is separate bike lanes from traffic. This benefit everyone in that area.

Now some disadvantages are too much time and money can be spent on some projects. Some project benefits special groups. Workers and students in this city but not living in Cambridge are excluded from participating in the process. Many people spend more time in this city than in their own neighborhood.

Overall my experience with Participatory Budgeting has been very good. Last year I had the opportunity to vote because I lived in Cambridge. Now I moved to another city but I work and study in Cambridge and I can’t vote this year. I feel excluded. I hope vote in another important process too and why not this program? It can continue for more years in other cities to help more people.

I think that the organization will have promote more this program and lets us know for television, radio or newspaper about the process and more people in the community could participatory more and more.