Volunteers for Participatory Budgeting

Participatory Budgeting


Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process through which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. The City hopes that PB will help directly involve residents in the budgeting and City-building process, foster civic engagement and community spirit, and help ensure that the City’s Capital Plan reflects the priorities of Cambridge residents.

Additional Information

Tips and FAQs

How can I submit ideas?

When there is an active Participatory Budgeting Cycle underway, community members can submit ideas online through our interactive map, as well as by contacting the City's Budget Office via email, phone, mail, walk-in, or filling out flyers at one of our many pop up events around town. Idea collection is open to everyone (not restricted to Cambridge residents). Visit the Participatory Budgeting website for additional information.

How does PB in Cambridge work?

Participatory Budgeting Cycles run from June-December and include the following key phases:

  • Creation of a Organizing Committee to guide the overall PB process. The Steering Committee will consist of residents and representatives from local nonprofit and community-based organizations;
  • Community members brainstorm and submit ideas;
  • Volunteer Budget Delegates turn ideas into concrete project proposals;
  • City staff vet proposals for feasibility and cost;
  • Residents vote on which projects they’d like the City to fund;and
  • Results are announced and winning projects are included in the City’s capital budget.

For more information, visit the Participatory Budgeting website.

How Does Voting Work?

Participatory Budgeting voting takes place in December.  Visit the Participatory Budgeting website for up-to-date information.

Cambridge residents who are at least 12 years old, regardless of citizenship status, were able to participate. Community members can vote online and in person at numerous events around the city during vote week.

The project that receives the most votes win funding, followed by the project that receives the second most votes, etc. until the total dollar amount allocated for the year is used up. 

Page was last modified on 6/17/2019 2:28 PM
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