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:

  1. Brainstorm Ideas - Through meetings and online tools, residents share and discuss ideas for projects.
  2. Develop Proposals - Volunteers, usually called budget delegates, develop the ideas into feasible proposals, which are then vetted by experts.
  3. Vote - Residents vote to divide the available budget between the proposals.
  4. 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.
Date(s) Phase Action
November- December 20, 2018 Idea Collection PB Durham launched on November 1st 2018. During November 1st-December 21st PB Durham received over 500 ideas during our first ever idea collection period! PB Durham staff and volunteers attended over 50 community events, 10 festivals, and 30 community meetings; engaging over 2,000 Durham residents since November 1st. In addition, PB Durham held over 15 PB Pop-ups and over 10 PB Jam Sessions. Our most notable PB Jam Session include our Youth PB Jam Session on December 15th, where Durham teens submitted over 40 ideas to improve their community. In addition, our Spanish only idea collection at Maureen Joy Charter School on December 6th was also a success! Durham residents submitted a wide array of ideas such as a Black Wall Street Monument, Cultural Art Gallery, solar-powered recreation centers, and a healing community garden. To view all the ideas visit Mapseed.
January-April 30, 2019 Proposal Development Proposal development is the second phase of participatory budgeting! The proposal development phase extended from January to April 2019. Over 100 residents and students from the community volunteered to become budget delegates and develop viable proposals into full project proposals.. During the proposal development phase budget delegates assessed, evaluated, and developed proposals that were the most equitable, impactful, and feasible as outlined in the project evaluation matrix. To check the status of your idea visit Mapseed
May 2019 Voting During the month of May, PB Durham received over 10,000 votes from Durham residents and students age 13 and older through in-person and online voting submissions.
June 2019-June 2021 Evaluation & Implementation Each of the winning projects were announced in June 2019 and will be implemented within 3 years fiscal years. In addition, PB Durham will be working with our external third-party evaluator North Carolina Central University, the community, volunteers, and the PB Steering Committee to evaluate the first cycle of Participatory Budgeting.

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