Somerville's first-ever cycle of Participatory Budgeting is now underway!
If you had one million dollars, how would you improve Somerville?
Don't miss your chance to participate in Somerville's first-ever participatory budgeting cycle! Vote on the final 20 proposals before October 13, 2023, and help shape the future of our community.
Volunteers are spending the summer reviewing and scoring all submitted ideas to determine which will appear on the ballot for public vote.
Residents will be able to vote on their favorite ideas starting in September. The City will begin implementing ideas with the most votes in October 2023.
You can sign up to receive emails with progress updates, opportunities to take part in the process, and more. If you are involved with a community organization and would like us to speak to your group about Participatory Budgeting, please contact Megan Huckenpahler.
Many other cities in the United States have already begun the process, starting with Chicago. Government structure, funding source, and voting methodologies vary throughout the US, but listed below are a few cities that closest mirror ours - check out their winning projects for inspiration!
In June 2022, the Mayor proposed―and City Council approved―$1 million to be allocated for the purpose of having community members propose and vote on projects to improve Somerville. The Working Group, made up of 11 residents and one City Councilor, is currently researching, deliberating, and deciding how this initiative will be rolled out in an equitable, inclusive, and engaging manner.
Participatory Budgeting began in Brazil in the 1980s and allows citizens to vote on how they would like to see a portion of government funds spent in the community. It has since expanded to more than 11,000 processes in nations, cities, and educational institutions in over 71 countries. More information can be found in the World PB Atlas.
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