Cambridge announces participatory budgeting winning projects

Cambridge Chronicle

Posted Dec 12, 2018 at 5:00 PM


The city of Cambridge recently announced the results for its fifth participatory budget process, where over 6,849 Cambridge residents ages 12 and older voted to decide how to spend $900,000 on capital projects to improve the community.

The following six projects won $900,000 in FY20 Capital Funding: Trees, please! ($200,000); Water Fountains in Every Park ($90,000); Protect the Health and Safety of our Firefighters ($110,000); Smoother Cycling ($250,000); Clean Up Cambridge ($125,000); and Rain Gardens for Resiliency ($150,000).

“I am extremely proud that Participatory Budgeting is connecting and engaging the public with the city’s budgeting process.” said Louis A. DePasquale, City Manager. “Thanks to PB, every resident is empowered with the ability to submit and vote for capital projects through this community-driven process. For me, one of the most rewarding aspects of Participatory Budgeting is seeing our residents select projects that will benefit the entire community.”

City Manager DePasquale went on to announce that the city would be adding another $25,000 to the total allocation to fully fund the sixth project, Rain Gardens for Resiliency.

Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process through which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. The goal of PB is intended to directly involve residents in city budgeting, encourage civic engagement, foster community spirit and help ensure that the city’s capital plan reflects the priorities of Cambridge residents.

A volunteer outreach committee of over 25 residents helped collect 1,047 ideas from the public, both online and in person at community events. Over 60 volunteer budget delegates then researched and developed the submitted ideas into formal project proposals. During this time, budget delegates meet with city staff to better understand cost estimates and project feasibility, and to consolidate the list and come up with the final proposals that were on the December PB ballot for a public vote.

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