Eight Participatory Budgeting Projects to receive $1.125 million in FY21 Capital Funds

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The results are in for Cambridge’s sixth Participatory Budget (PB) Process. Over 7,602 Cambridge residents age 12 and older voted to decide how to spend $1 million on capital projects to improve the community – an 11 percent increase in voting from last year. 

The following 8 projects won $1,125,000 in FY21 Capital Funding:

1. Close the Canopy ($200,000)
2. Water Bottle Filling Stations for the Major Squares ($150,000)
3. Laundry Access in Public Schools ($50,000)
4. Pedestrian-Controlled Crosswalk Lights ($150,000)
5. Extend Outdoor WiFi ($50,000)
6. Make the City Bloom with a Habitat Corridor ($75,000)
7. Keeping Cambridge Clean ($100,000)
8. Public Bathroom ($350,000)

"“When people think about finance and the budget process, they don’t necessarily think about community engagement, but we continue to change that perspective with Participatory Budgeting," said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. "Through PB, residents are not only empowered with the ability to submit and vote for capital projects, they are also able get a closer look at how the budget process works and how decisions are made. I am also thrilled to be able to add another $125,000 to the total allocation to fully fund the eighth project, an outdoor public bathroom.”

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

A volunteer Outreach Team of over 20 residents helped collect 1,644 ideas from the public, both online and in person at community events.  Over 40 volunteer Budget Delegates then researched and developed the submitted ideas into formal project proposals.  During this time, budget delegates meet with City staff to better understand cost estimates and project feasibility, and to consolidate the list and come up with the final proposals that were on the December PB ballot for a public vote.

Thank you to the PB Outreach Committee, Budget Delegates and Facilitators, City staff, and all of the volunteers and participants who helped make the City’s sixth PB cycle a success.

To learn more about PB and the winning projects, please visit the Participatory Budgeting website.

Page was posted on 12/11/2019 10:48 AM
Page was last modified on 2/4/2020 11:08 AM
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