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Participatory Budgeting -- the People's Budget -- a Major Success!

Year one of Participatory Budgeting in New York City was a HUGE success, with nearly $6 million in funding invested based on the votes of 6,000 New Yorkers voting around the city! Called the People's Budget by many participants, it was a resounding success.  You can learn more about the first cycle of PBNYC here.


CVH is playing a leadership role, alongside our allies at Participatory Budgeting NYC, in a very exciting pilot project in NYC that allows community members, in partnership with participating City Council Members, to decide for themselves what investments their community needs. Join us as we build towards the community votes in late March 2012!

 In a time of widespread budget crises and plummeting trust in government, politicians and community members are searching for more democratic and accountable ways to manage public money. In March 2011, four NYC Council Members launched a new approach - participatory budgeting (PB). Between October 2011 and March 2012, each Council Member is letting residents directly decide how to spend at least $1 million of discretionary capital funds. This is only the second such initiative in the US, though PB is a best practice of democratic governance used in over 1,000 cities around the world. Like in other cities, PB in NYC is resulting in better decisions, stronger communities, and more public support for the Council Members.


Participatory Budgeting in East Harlem from Ben Teitelbaum on Vimeo.



  •  Between May and September 2011, CVH and The Participatory Budgeting Project assisted the Council Members in establishing a City-Wide Steering Committee to plan and oversee the process, as well as local District Committees to coordinate local implementation. These committees spent months designing and planning the launch of the process.


  • Since October 2011, organized or supported 27 neighborhood assemblies across the four participating districts through which residents submitted nearly 2,000 project ideas and 400 people volunteered to serve as budget delegates.

  Current Campaign Goals, CITYWIDE:

  • In March 2012, thousands of New Yorkers came together to review proposals crafted by their neighbors and voted on which they would like to see prioritized for public funding. Read the full list of winning projects and the full press release here.

  • CVH supported the work in each of the four districts, and playing the role as Lead Community Partner in District 8, which covers East Harlem, West Harlem, and Mott Haven.


Get Involved! For information about PB in East Harlem, West Harlem, or Mott Haven, contact Carmen Piniero at 212-860-6001, ext. 26, or e-mail

For information about PB city-wide, contact Vincent Villano at 212-860-6001, ext. 22, or e-mail You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter to get the latest!



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