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Participatory Budgeting Scoping Toolkit

PB first came to the U.S. in 2009, when PBP worked with Alderman Joe Moore
in Chicago to use PB to allocate his $1.3 million in capital discretionary funds,
in his ward of 58,000 people. Since then, PB has spread to dozens of other
cities, institutions, and funding streams across North America.
Ø Council discretionary funds:
In cities like Chicago, New York, and Long Beach, PB is used at the council district level. In
New York City, over half of city council districts, representing 4.5 million people, are
allocating $40 million annually through PB.
Ø City budgets:
PB takes place citywide in cities like Vallejo, CA, Cambridge, MA, Hartford, CT, and
Greensboro, NC, with pots of up to $3.2 million.
Ø Youth PB:
Cities such as Boston and Seattle have run citywide PB processes exclusively for youth and
young adults ages 11-25.
Ø K-12 Schools:
Elementary, middle, and high schools in cities such as Phoenix, Chicago, Sacramento, New
York, and San Jose, have used PB to allocated principals’ discretionary funds, PTA funds,
and school district-level funds.
Ø Colleges & Universities:
At colleges and universities in New York City and San Antonio, TX, students, teachers, and
staff have started PB processes with school-wide funds.
Ø Federal funds:
In 2014, the Obama White House included PB as a best practice in its “Second National
Action Plan for Open Government”, prompting the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban
Development (HUD) to endorse PB for public participation in its programs and funding
streams. The City of Oakland, CA, has used PB to allocate HUD’s Community Development
Block Grant (CDBG) funds.

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