The 9th phase of Participatory Budgeting Idea Collection ended after 8 weeks of community outreach from June 1 to July 31. The Budget Office Intern Team began with distributing flyers at parks, city buildings, and local businesses across Cambridge. Afterwards, we transitioned to setting up idea collection tables and sparking conversations with community members. This summer, you may have seen our idea collection outreach table at one of the Cambridge libraries, at public events, or commercial markets. Our first public event in June was the Brazilian Dance and Drum Showcase at Greene-Rose Heritage Park. There, our team had the privilege of not only speaking with members of the public about ways to improve Cambridge, but the opportunity to watch a wonderful music and dance performance. Two weeks into Idea Collection, we were present at the Dragon Boat Festival, one of the biggest events of the summer in Cambridge, where we collected many ideas and chatted with community members, each with different backgrounds and connections to Cambridge.
Juneteenth was a big outreach weekend for the PB team, we tabled public celebrations at Greene Rose Heritage Park, the Central Square Library Branch, as well as the first ever Cambridge Juneteenth parade. Additionally, we had the opportunity to engage community members at the Fresh Pond Apartments Community Fair, Mayor Siddiqui’s Bollywood Night, and CX Summer Nights in both June and July, all of which were lively events.
In July, we began our youth center and door-to-door outreach. At our youth center PB workshop sessions, we loved speaking with young people and hearing how committed they were to building a more equitable Cambridge. Our team worked alongside the Cambridge Community Corps for our door-to-door outreach in The Port, North Cambridge, Wellington-Harrington, and Riverside neighborhoods. Despite high temperatures in July, we were fortunate to have a good contact rate with residents and were able to collect ideas and recruit volunteer PB Delegates. We finished the Idea Collection phase at the Cambridge Jazz Festival in Danehy Park. Our PB team was present for both days of the festival speaking with festivalgoers and listening to the spellbinding jazz performances.
Now that the Idea Collection phase has ended, the PB team is working closely with volunteer Cambridge residents (PB delegates) to narrow down the 1,320+ collected ideas to 20 for the PB ballot in December.
Thank you to everyone we spoke to this summer! Your commitment to PB helps the City 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. We hope you vote for your five favorite projects this December 1-11! Cambridge residents who are at least 12 years old (as well as students in the 6th grade), regardless of citizenship status, are eligible to vote in Participatory Budgeting.
The Budget Intern Team