City Council allocated $2.4 million to implement participatory budgeting. Participatory Budgeting (PB) is an initiative that allows residents to directly decide how to spend a portion of the public budget. Since its launch on November 1, 2018, PB Durham has engaged over 2,000 Durham residents and students with the goal of increasing engagement in diverse populations while educating the public about local government processes; including but not limited to the budgetary process.
The four primary phases of PB Durham are:
- Brainstorm Ideas - Through meetings and online tools, residents share and discuss ideas for projects.
- Develop Proposals - Volunteers, usually called budget delegates, develop the ideas into feasible proposals, which are then vetted by experts.
- Vote - Residents vote to divide the available budget between the proposals.
- Project Implementation and evaluation - The government implements the winning projects, such as bus shelters, Wi-Fi in public parks, or sidewalk improvements. The government and residents track and monitor implementation.