On Tuesday, May 19th, 2015, the Buffalo Common Council announced that Participatory Budgeting will officially be coming to Buffalo through a pilot program with $150,000 in the City’s 2015-2016 Budget! This is a huge win for the residents of Buffalo!
Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a fairly new way to make decisions about publicly funded projects. Participatory Budgeting gives ordinary people decision-making power over real money. PB is already working in over 1,500 municipalities around the world. It includes everyone in the community – especially those who are often excluded from the political process or feel disillusioned with current political structures and institutions.
The City of Buffalo Participatory Budgeting Committee was established by a resolution introduced by Councilman LoCurto, which passed unanimously back in July, 2014 to produce recommendations on how the City of Buffalo may implement a Participatory Budgeting Process and join other cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Boston and NYC. The Committee was diverse and represented many neighborhoods in the City of Buffalo; like the Community Action Organization of Buffalo, the Seneca Babcock Community Center, the Somali- Bantu Community Organization and the University Heights Tool Library, as well as our staff at Heart of the City Neighborhoods, Inc.
We’re so excited to see this dream becoming a reality for our communities in Buffalo! Learn more about Participatory Budgeting online at the Participatory Budgeting Project’s website.
You can read more about the Common Council’s decision at Time Warner Cable News.