CVH & Allies Present on Participatory Budgeting NYC
Community Voices Heard joined with our partners in PBNYC to discuss the Participatory Budgeting process this morning. Below are some of the presentations shared, and background on the event itself.
Participatory Budgeting Overview
The briefing began with an introduction to Participatory Budgeting done by Josh Lerner of the Participatory Budgeting Project. To find out more about PB around the world and specifically in North America, contact Josh by email.
Participatory Budgeting in NYC Overview
Next, Sondra Youdelman, Executive Director of Community Voices Heard (CVH) - the Lead Community Engagement Partner for the project - presented on the pilot year of Participatory Budgeting NYC. To find out more about this exciting initiative wherein 4 City Council Members put around $6 million into a pot for residents to decide how to spend, contact Sondra by email or phone at 212-860-6001 x 21.
Video on PB-NYC in District 8
A short six-minute video was shown on how PB-NYC rolled out in Harlem in NYC. Watch the Bill Moyers video and see for yourself.
Council Member Reflections
Following the video, Council Members Melissa Mark Viverito and Brad Lander, and Stefan Ringel representing Council Member Jumaane Williams, reflected on their experiences in Year 1 of the Participatory Budgeting Initiative.
PBNYC Research & Evaluation Presentation
Finally, Alexa Kasdan of the Urban Justice Center's Community Development Project, presented some of the key research findings from the process. To find out more about the research and evaluation findings, contact Alexa by email or phone at 646-459-3011.
Participatory budgeting is a democratic process that gives ordinary people real decision-making power over real money. Community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. The process has the potential to transform relationships between elected officials and their constituents, between residents and their communities, and between people and their government.
In New York City, between October 2011 and the end of March 2012, residents in four Council Districts were given the opportunity to brainstorm ideas, craft them into proposals, put them on a ballot, and then vote on their priorities. Thus began a participatory budget process that allowed residents to allocate approximately $6 million of local budgets. While only the second such experiment in the United States, participatory budgeting is seen as a best practice in governance and is already utilized in over 3,000 municipalities around the world.
Join the four trailblazing City Council Members who are implementing the first participatory budget project in New York, local community leaders, and representatives from national organizations promoting the value of participatory budgeting and exploring ways to institutionalize similar practices in multiple agencies and arenas of city government.
How participatory budgeting has the power to:
- Make government more transparent and accountable
- Assist in building community across class and race
- Boost political participation of marginalized and disenfranchised populations
- Enhance civic learning, build capacity, and develop new leadership
- Prioritize dwindling government spending based on local knowledge
- Utilize technology, arts, and culture to get people involved in government in new ways
- Councilman Brad Lander, District 39-Brooklyn
- Josh Lerner, Executive Director, The Participatory Budgeting Project
- Councilman Eric Ulrich, District 32-Queens
- Councilwoman Melissa Mark Viverito, District 8-Manhattan
- Councilman Jumaane Williams, District 45-Brooklyn
- Sondra Youdelman, Executive Director, Community Voices Heard
Additional resource people will be on hand to answer questions, including Christine Gaspar, Center for Urban Pedagogy, who coordinated the design of materials; Alexa Kasdan, Urban Justice Center's Community Development Project, responsible for research and evaluation; Dan LaTorre, Project for Public Spaces, who arranged the online portal; Rachel Laforest, Right to the City, who is working with groups across the country interested in taking this initiative to their home communities and cities; and Caron Atlas, Arts & Democracy Project, who assisted in connecting arts organizations and artists to the process.
A Philanthropy New York Members Briefing, sponsored by The New York Community Trust, the New York Foundation, and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation. Event listing at Philanthropy New York website and you can learn more at the CVH Participatory Budgeting webpage.
|PB Info Sheet.pdf||73.19 KB|
|PBNYC Sample Ballot - District 8.pdf||228.79 KB|
|PBNYC Citywide Data Summary for Funder Briefing.pdf||571.79 KB|