Thursday, January 24, 2013

PB 2013 is on Fire!

 The Participatory Budgeting Project
  January 2013 Newsletter

Vote Results: Two and a Half Winning Projects in PB2

We're thrilled to announce the results of PB2 - our first organizational PB process! To practice what we preach, we asked everyone who donated to PBP last year to vote on how the donations are spent, to identify the priorities for PB in 2013. Here's the final vote tally:

1) Hire a Part-Time Development Person
2) Produce a PB Intro Video
3) Launch a Youth PB Campaign
4) Travel Funds for Conference Participants
5) Office Furniture and Equipment
6) New PB Brochures and Info Sheets

We committed to use half the money raised in donations to fund the projects with the most votes. When we started fundraising in October, our goal was to raise $6,000. But in just three months, you gave $16,834!

Thanks to the contributions of 130 amazing supporters, we raised enough to fund the top two priority projects above. We already hired a new development associate to assist with our fundraising (see below). In just a few weeks, she’s enabled us to submit three grant application letters and develop a strong plan for raising new resources.

We also just put out a request for proposals to produce a short PB video - please spread the word. If we can raise more resources, we’re committed to moving forward on the other priorities too. And as with PB more broadly, we saw that opening up our budget process helped attract more resources – not only the monetary donations, but also computers and a printer from Google, to meet our office equipment needs!

2013 PB Conference in Chicago

Building a Democratic City

From May 3-5, 2013, Building a Democratic City: The 2nd International Conference on Participatory Budgeting in the US & Canada will take place in Chicago. Together with conference co-organizers the Great Cities Institute, we are currently accepting proposals for conference sessions. Please see the Call for Proposals and conference website for more information. The deadline for submissions is February 15, 2013.

Join us for a weekend of exciting and engaging panels, presentations, and workshops, from participants and organizers of PB initiatives from across North America and the world. Conference participants will also observe this year's final PB Chicago vote, and celebrate the announcement of its results. PB Chicago now spans four city wards, building on the first PB initiative in the US, in the city's 49th Ward.

Registration will open in February. Stay tuned for more program updates, and info on our new PB training workshop that will take place on May 3rd right before the conference!

New(ish) Faces at PBP

January has brought lots of changes at PBP:
  • Lize Mogel is joining our team as part-time Development Associate - thanks to your money and votes in PB2!
  • Ramon Quintero, our Community Engagement Assistant for PB Vallejo, unfortunately had to step down. We're sad to see him go, but glad that he'll still be helping with outreach and the Spanish-language budget delegate committee.
  • Aseem Mulji, our fantastic fall intern in Vallejo, is taking over for Ramon, as our new Vallejo Project Assistant.
  • Donata Secondo is stepping down as Project Coordinator for PBNYC, though she's staying involved with PBP as a Program Associate, to help with our conference and other projects.
  • Pam Jennings is now serving as our Project Coordinator for both PB Vallejo and PBNYC.
  • Isaac Jabola-Carolus, one of our fall interns in NYC, is joining staff as a full-time Project Assistant, working mostly on PBNYC.
  • Finally, speaking of amazing interns, we welcomed our two spring interns - José Ramón Martí and Aviva Coopersmith!
  • Whew! See our staff page for bios and more info...

Coming in 2013...

We're pretty stoked about what's in store for 2013! Some highlights:
  • PB Launches in San Francisco. The first meeting for District 3's PB process is this Saturday! We're thrilled to be working on this pilot with such fabulous partners - SF Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, the SF Controller's Office, Coleman Advocates, the Chinese Progressive Association, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and the California Civic Innovation Project.
  • Deepening PB in NYC and Chicago. We're honored to receive new funding for PBNYC and PB Chicago, together with partners Community Voices Heard and the Great Cities Institute. While we're still working toward full funding, we'll be able to roll out some upgrades thanks to generous support from the New York Women's Foundation, New York Foundation, New York Community Trust, Scherman Foundation, Field Foundation, Crown Philanthropies, and Institute for Political and Civic Engagement at UIC. Thank you!
  • New Cities. In the past few months we've had discussions with officials and community groups in over a dozen cities, including Buffalo, Greensboro, Hartford, Louisville, New Orleans, Portland (OR), Richmond (CA), San Diego, San Juan, Somerville (MA), St. Louis, and Toronto. Stay tuned for more info about speaking appearances and new PB processes!
  • New Budgets. We're working to push the frontiers of PB, testing out new processes in schools, housing authorities, and organizations.
  • New Tools. Over the next several months we're developing a new batch of PB guides, videos, presentations, and promotional materials, to better support local activists.
We look forward to your collaboration and support on these new efforts!

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Featured Video
Last November, California Forward reported on why Vallejo adopted Participatory Budgeting. Now they've produced this great video about PB Vallejo: Citizen engagement enters new phase in Vallejo participatory budgeting
California Forward Video

In the Press
The Journal of Public Deliberation released a special issue focused on PB, including several contributions from Team PBP:

PBP's Josh Lerner & Donata Secondo break down the bottom-up design approach used for PB in the US, in "By the People, For the People"

PBP Associate Gianpaolo Baiocchi and our friend Ernesto Ganuza write about PB's global travels in "The Power of Ambiguity"

PBP Advisory Board Member Celina Su describes how PBNYC is starting to expand the possibilities for who can  participate in politics, in "Whose Budget? Our Budget?"

Chicagotalks writes about PBP's Maria Hadden and the 46th Ward residents who are helping to build Participatory Budgeting Chicago: Uptown takes next step in participatory budgeting In Brooklyn, a class of 5th graders thanks City Councilmember and PBP Advisory Board Member Brad Lander for "teaching us what it means to live in a democracy"

PBP Board Chair Mike Menser writes about Superstorm Sandy and PB in "The Participatory Metropolis, or Resilience Requires Democracy"

PBP Magnets Now Available! 
For only $1 you can now adorn your fridge with a PBP magnet! Send us an email to order our beautiful PBP logo t-shirts ($17 +postage), stickers ($1), and magnets. T-shirts are available in kelley green or white. Sizes are limited.

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