Participatory budgeting (PB) is a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making, in which ordinary people decide how to allocate part of a municipal or public budget. Participatory budgeting allows residents to identify, discuss, and prioritize public spending projects, and gives them the power to make real decisions about how money is spent.
In 2018, the Durham City Council approved the guidelines and $2.4M in funding for PB and appointed a 15-member Steering Committee to establish the goals of PB and support the administration of the program. Each of the 3 City Council wards was awarded up to $800,000 for residents to decide how to use for one-time projects in the community.
For Cycle 2, in 2020, Durham City Council approved $1M in funding for Durham-connected nonprofits and community organizations who are directly serving those residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing issues contributing to racial, economic, and social inequities in Durham.