What is Participatory Budgeting (PB)?
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.
Learn about PB in Durham
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, City Council approved $1 million for Durham connected nonprofits.
PB Durham Cycle 1
Since its launch in November 2018, PB Durham has engaged over 10,000 residents and students. Over 500 ideas were initially submitted during the idea-collection phase in fall 2018, with the second phase of proposal development taking place from January to April 2019. During the second phase, over 100 students and residents from the community reviewed, vetted, analyzed, and developed over 40 project proposals using data, community research, and support from technical experts. The voting phase throughout May sought input from residents and students age 13 or older, on which of the top 40 projects should move to the final implementation phase. The winning projects from PB Durham Cycle 1 are currently in the implementation phase and some are complete.
PB Durham Cycle 2: Results have been released!
In response to feedback from the Cycle 1 evaluation and the pandemic, PB Durham Cycle 2 shifted its scope. A grant fund was established to support local efforts to strengthen the community's social and economic fabric by offering relief assistance to communities in Durham. Durham City Council approved $1 million for Durham connected nonprofit and community organizations that are directly serving those residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing issues contributing to racial, economic, and social inequities in Durham to apply for funding to support community rooted work. Learn about the Cycle 2 winning projects here.