Cambridge Participatory Budgeting Assembly
Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process through which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Cambridge’s pilot PB project will for the first time, 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.
Since its inception in 1989, over 1,500 city budgets around the world have undertaken Participatory Budgeting initiatives, including Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Vallejo, CA.
The City is setting aside $500,000 in capital funds for the 2014-2015 PB process. These funds will be used for one-time capital projects. Residents will brainstorm ideas for projects, develop them into proposals, and projects that are vetted by City staff and approved by the City Manager will appear on a ballot in March for residents to vote on.
Winning projects will be included in the FY 2016 Capital Budget for adoption.