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Participatory Budgeting: Real Money, Real Power

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Presentation on theme: "Participatory Budgeting: Real Money, Real Power"— Presentation transcript:

1 Participatory Budgeting: Real Money, Real Power
Leave this slide up as people arrive at the assembly Donata Secondo Project Coordinator The Participatory Budgeting Project

2 Why participation in budgeting?
Budgets are policy without the rhetoric Money talks, so people pay attention Public budgets are taxpayer money Policy without the rhetoric: budgets are what a government or organization actually does Money talks, so people listen: $$$ gets people’s attention, gives us a reason to participate It’s our money: budgets come from the community’s taxes and contributions, it’s the community’s right to decide them 2

3 What is Participatory Budgeting?
A democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget Making real decisions about real money (NOT a consultation) An annual cycle (NOT a one-off event) Usually for discretionary funds (NOT the whole budget) (Go through this slide slowly and emphasize each point, to make sure people understand) Before we talk about what we’re doing in NYC, what is participatory budgeting in general? (READ THE DEFINITION). In other words, YOU get to decide how to spend taxpayer dollars. This may seem simple, but I want to make clear how different this is: - PB is not a consultation (not just a politician asking what you think, then doing what they want) – this gives people real power to make real decisions about real money. - PB is not a one-off or one-day event like a referendum or town hall meeting – an annual cycle with months of meetings, so you can make good and informed decisions, not just any decisions PB is not usually for the whole city budget, just the part that’s actually in play and can be changed each year – the discretionary funds 3

4 How does participatory budgeting work?
Brainstorm Ideas Select Delegates Develop Proposals Vote on Proposals Implement Projects Each process is different, but I will present a typical cycle: -people brainstorm and collect spending ideas in neighborhood assemblies, community meetings and online At the neighborhood assemblies, people select delegates or representatives to do additional research and work - Budget delegates meet for several months to turn initial ideas into full project proposals -budget delegates bring the proposals back to the public for a vote -people vote on which projects to fund -city or agency implement the top projects, and the delegates monitor progress -people see their ideas become reality

5 Where has participatory
budgeting worked? Porto Alegre, Brazil Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, North America 1,000+ PB processes in the world! Cities, States, Counties, Public Housing, Schools, Community Organizations Participatory Budgeting is not new. - It started over 20 years ago in Brazil and is now being used on almost every continent, in over 1,000 cities. - Cities, States, community organizations, public housing authorities and schools have all used it. - There are only two other PB processes in the US, so even though PB is tried and tested, we’re really on the cutting-edge here!

6 Over $5 Million TOTAL in Council Member discretionary funds
New York City: 2011 Over $5 Million TOTAL in Council Member discretionary funds District 8, Manhattan Melissa Mark-Viverito (D) Show video District 32, Queens Eric Ulrich (R) District 39, Brooklyn Brad Lander (D) District 45, Brooklyn Jumaane Williams (D)

7 PBNYC Year 1 - Outcomes PB Engaged over 8,000 people
2,400 residents identified 2,000 project ideas to address community needs Over 300 active volunteers researched, revised and developed 78 full project proposals 6,000 voters chose 27 winning projects – and voters were more representative of community demographics than in standard elections

8 PBNYC Year 1 Now we’re going to watch a short video on how PB worked last year to give you a better sense of what this looks like in practice. (Presenter or coordinator should have set up DVD and speakers before the event. Minimize the powerpoint, play video, then return to the powerpoint) Video

9 PBNYC 2012-2013 District 19: Dan Halloran
District 8: Melissa Mark-Viverito District 33: Stephen Levin District 23: Mark Weprin District 39: Brad Lander District 32: Eric Ulrich District 44: David Greenfield AT LEAST $10 MILLION IN CAPITAL DISCRETIONARY FUNDS TOTAL! District 45: Jumaane D. Williams

10 Why PB in NYC? Our Goals Core Principles Main Goals:
1) Inclusion 2) Equality 3) Empowerment Other Goals: equity, more civic participation, community-building, education, responsible and efficient spending, sustainable and livable neighborhoods Why are we doing participatory budgeting in NYC? We hope that it helps us move towards three core values in our community: Inclusion: We want to include everyone in the community, especially people who don’t normally get involved in politics or the community. Everyone can participate in PB. (optional: add that even people who can’t vote can participate in PB) Equality: Everyone has equal opportunity to propose ideas and vote. It’s one person, one vote. Empowerment: We aim to empower and strengthen our communities and the individuals within them. By building community power to make budget decisions and to shape the budget process, we hope to develop new leaders and inspire people to work together to improve the community. We also hope that this process has other benefits for the community: (quickly read through the other goals) 10

11 How are decisions made? Traditional vs. Participatory Process
Traditionally Council Members determine how to spend their discretionary money, by deciding which projects to submit to the Council Speaker for funding. PB Participatory Budgeting* All community members have the opportunity to decide what projects their Council Member submits for funding. *Proposals still must follow city rules for spending and other requirements. How is PB different from the normal way that Council Members spend their money? Traditionally, Council Members decide what to do with their discretionary funds. Some seek out ideas from the community, but at the end of the day, they make the decisions. In PB, the Council Members have turned over the money and power to the community. The community will decide how to spend this money, and the Council Members will submit these decisions to the City for funding. But these projects must still meet city regulations. 11

12 How does PB work in NYC? 4. Community Vote (March)
1. Neighborhood Assemblies (Sep-Oct) identify community needs, select delegates 2. Delegate Meetings (Oct-Feb) develop proposals 5. Implementation & Monitoring of projects How will PB work? It starts at Neighborhood assemblies, where the community identifies their needs and initial project ideas. At the assemblies, we also ask for some people to volunteer to serve as budget delegates. Over the next few months, the Budget Delegates will turn the initial ideas into concrete proposals, with help from city agencies and Council Member staff. In February, there’s another round of neighborhood assemblies, where the budget delegates get feedback on their proposals from the larger community. After the budget delegates revise the projects one last time, they present the proposals to the whole district at a big public vote in March. At this vote, you will choose which projects you want for the district. The projects that get the most votes will be submitted to the City. After the vote, we’ll monitor the proposals’ progress, to make sure they’re being implemented properly. 3. Project Expos (Feb) share proposals and get community feedback 4. Community Vote (March)

13 Organizers and Support
Council Members City-Wide Steering Committee Design and oversee overall process Council Member Staff Grassroots Organizations Resource Organizations District Reps Community Voices Heard Community Engagement Partner PBP Lead Technical Assistant Implement and manage the process locally District Committee D8 District Committee D19 District Committee D23 District Committee D32 District Committee D33 District Committee D39 District Committee D44 District Committee D45

14 Participatory Budgeting in NYC
Who can participate? Participatory Budgeting in NYC Everyone can participate in PB! Anyone can attend an assembly and propose a project. To be a budget delegate you must: be at least 14 years old, and live in the district, work in the district, own a business in the district, attend school in the district, or have children who attend school in the district To vote for projects you must be at least 16 years old and live in the district Everyone can participate in PB! Anyone can come to an assembly, and anyone can propose a project. However (read through the Budget Delegate requirements). This is to make sure that the people working on the projects know the community and have a real stake in the community. And, to vote in March, you must be at least 16 and live in the district.

15 Questions & Ideas

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