Participatory Budgeting (or PB) is a new and different way to make decisions about publicly funded projects in New York City neighborhoods. It gives community members real decision-making power over parts of public budgets.
In 2011, four City Council Members agreed to use a participatory budgeting process to let their constituents decide how to spend parts of each district’s public budget, totalling almost $6 million. Over forty community organizations and advocacy groups, led by Community Voices Heard and the Participatory Budgeting Project, have come together to make sure the process is a truly democratic one.
CUP was asked to create accessible outreach and educational materials which would help guarantee that a broad cross-section of people would take part in this process. Working with Glen Cummings of MTWTF, we produced a brochure and flyers in English, Spanish, Polish, Russian, and Bangla. With Lacey Tauber of the Pratt Institute, we produced neighborhood maps to be used during community meetings. Next up, ballots for Spring 2012 voting.