How Would You Spend $1 Million to Improve Cambridge? Vote on Participatory Budgeting projects December 3-12, 2021

As part of its 8th Participatory Budgeting (PB) Cycle, the City of Cambridge invites residents age 12 and older (including all 6th graders) to vote on projects to improve the city from December 3-12, 2021. This process is open to everyone in the Cambridge community, including non-U.S. citizens and university students.

Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process through which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. In June and July 2021, community members submitted 1,070 ideas on how to spend $1 million of the City of Cambridge’s FY23 Capital Budget. From August to November, over 50 volunteer Budget Delegates worked on five committees to research and evaluate those ideas and develop 20 final proposals for the PB ballot.

Projects are eligible for funding if they:

  • Benefit the public;
  • Are capital projects (something bought or built);
  • Are one-time expenditures that cost $1 million or less;
  • Are implemented by the City of Cambridge on city property (streets, sidewalks, parks, libraries, schools, youth centers, senior centers, municipal buildings, etc).

Past winning PB projects have included musical instruments for CRLS (Cambridge Rindge & Latin School) students, universal swing sets in parks, laundry access in Cambridge public schools, pedestrian-controlled crosswalk lights, bilingual books for kids, extension of outdoor Wi-Fi, and many others.

Residents can vote online, beginning December 3, 2021 at Online voting will be text message authenticated; voters will enter their cell phone number on the PB website, a code will be sent to them via text message or email, and then they will enter that code online for one-time access to the ballot. The online ballot will be available in English, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Spanish, Portuguese, Amharic, Arabic, and Bengali.

Residents can also vote over the phone by calling the Budget Office at 617-349-4270 during regular business hours: Friday, Dec. 3, from 8:30 a.m. - 12 p.m., Monday, Dec. 6, from 8:30 a.m.– 8 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Dec. 7- 9, from 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Friday Dec. 10, from 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. Paper ballots are also available through the Budget Office during regular business hours.

For more information about how you can vote, please visit or contact the City of Cambridge Budget Office at or (617) 349-4270.

Page was posted on 11/22/2021 6:54 PM
Page was last modified on 12/2/2021 3:16 PM
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