For the first time ever, the City of Cambridge will set aside $500,000 of the FY2016 Capital Budget for community members to allocate through a pilot participatory budgeting process. Between November 2014 and April 2015, residents will brainstorm ideas, develop those ideas into project proposals, vet proposals with city staff, and vote on which proposals to fund.
The goals of Cambridge’s pilot participatory budgeting process are to directly involve residents in the budgeting and city-building process, foster civic engagement and community spirit, and help ensure that the city’s capital plan reflects the priorities of Cambridge residents.
The process was initiated by City Councillor Leland Cheung who learned about participatory budgeting from its implementation in other cities. The city will work in partnership with the non-profit organization, The Participatory Budgeting Project to spearhead the process.
Residents, community-based organizations, and advocacy groups will come together in a Steering Committee to help design and carry out Cambridge’s participatory budgeting process