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Proposal Development is Officially Underway!

Between October and January, Budget Delegates are tasked with transforming ideas generated during the Idea Collection phase into full proposals with support from Council staff and City agencies.

Once delegates have developed feasible proposals, they narrow them down and identify projects that most meet the needs of their district. If you would like to participate as a Budget Delegate or Facilitator, visit our ‘Get Involved’ tab for more information!

What is Participatory Budgeting?

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. The process began in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1989. Today, there are more than 3,000 participatory budgeting processes around the world, most at the municipal level.

What is PBNYC?

In 2011, four New York City Council Members – Brad Lander, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Eric Ulrich, and Jumaane D. Williams – launched a PB process to allow residents in their district to allocate part of their capital discretionary funds. Over the years, the process has grown to include a majority of Council Members, giving communities real decision-making over more than $30 million in taxpayer money on an annual basis.

Participatory Budgeting in New York City (PBNYC) plays an important role in giving communities the ability to directly impact the capital budgeting process. It motivates New Yorkers to engage the civic process and make decisions by sharing ideas, developing proposals, and voting on community projects. Since 2011, PBNYC has strengthened our communities and made our city stronger over the last few years.

This year, 30 Council Members across New York City are asking residents how to spend at least $30 million in capital funding, specifically for local improvements to schools, parks, libraries, public housing, streets and other public spaces. PBNYC funds physical infrastructure projects that benefit the public, cost at least $50,000 and have a lifespan of at least 5 years.

young Participatory Budgeting voters. Photo by Raul Rothblatt

How Does It Work?

Idea Collection and Volunteer Recruitment

September – October
Through community meetings, residents brainstorm ideas and recruit Budget Delegates for the current cycle.

Proposal Development

October – January
Budget Delegates transform ideas into full proposals, with support from city agencies and staff. Delegates narrow down proposals and select projects that meet the needs of the community.

GOTV and Vote Week

March – April
Once proposals have been determined, Budget Delegates and residents get out the vote and prepare for a nine day community vote.

Evaluation and Planning

May – June
Winning projects are included in New York City’s upcoming fiscal year budget. Staff and stakeholders evaluate the process and oversee the implementation of winning projects by agencies.

Click here to learn about the NYC Civic Engagement Commission’s PB process, The People’s Money.