There are some exciting updates from NCDD member org – The Participatory Budgeting Project, who recently completed another successful round of participatory budgeting in NYC (PBNYC) and announced the launch of their new data tool, myPB. Over the last 7 years, the PBNYC process has allowed residents to decide on how to spend $210 million on 706 community projects. As part of a pilot program in NYC, PBP announced their new data tool, myPB, which allows residents to research their districts, find out if PB is in their communities, the status of PB projects, and more. We encourage you to read the post below and find the original version on PBP’s site here.
Participatory Budgeting in NYC: $210 million for 706 community projects
For the 7th straight year, New Yorkers just decided part of the city budget. We’re excited to share the impressive results from 2018 – and a new tool that brings past results of Participatory Budgeting in New York City (PBNYC) to your fingertips!
2018 Vote Results
More than 99,250 residents age 11 and older participated in the largest local civic engagement program in the US, deciding how to spend $36,618,553 across NYC. They developed hundreds of spending proposals and funded 124 community improvement projects for schools, parks, libraries, public housing, streets, and other public spaces.
The impacts of PB are even greater over time. Since 2012, New Yorkers have decided how to spend $210 million on 706 projects. PBNYC has also sparked over $180 million in additional spending on city-wide improvements such as school air conditioning and bathroom repairs.
PB is building the governing power of hundreds of thousands of everyday New Yorkers. As Council Member Carlos Menchaca reflected,“PB isn’t just about choosing winning projects, it is also about creating opportunities for civic participation and building stronger communities. New Yorkers are eager to lead the decision processes on topics that directly affect them.”
For more information on PBNYC Cycle 7 see the full results here and this video of highlights from the results announcement and celebration:
The @NYCCouncil gathered in chambers with @PB_NYC delegates and supporters from all over the city to celebrate the results of Cycle 7, and to look forward to another successful year of participatory budgeting. pic.twitter.com/L9TTOfcXPR
— NYC Council (@NYCCouncil) June 11, 2018
myPB – A New PB Data Tool
We’re thrilled to share not only 2018 vote results, but also a tool – myPB – that we’ve created to keep you updated on the status of projects and the impacts of PB.
Deciding how to spend public dollars through PB can be refreshing and exciting. Implementing the winning projects, however, can be frustratingly slow. Although staff share occasional updates about funded projects on the district level, there is no comprehensive, city-wide view of the status of PB-funded projects.
Now we have an exciting new data tool for tracking PB projects and outcomes: myPB.community. So far it includes all project data through 2017. We’re piloting it in NYC, with plans to include many more cities in the future—maybe yours?
Powered by NYC Open Data, community members can now use their smartphone or computer to:
- find their district,
- see if their district has participated—or is participating in—PB,
- contact their district office,
- search, sort, and filter PB projects that made it to the ballot
- share information on PB projects on social media,
- and see how much money has been allocated to various city agencies and issues.
This award-winning data platform tells lots of stories, revealing city-wide and district-specific priorities.
In June 2018, myPB.community won awards in Mayor’s Civics and Open Data from NYC Open Data, for its use of open data to support civic work, like how policy groups and advocates across the city can use mypb.community to understand community needs.
Sorting projects by category indicates what people prioritize when it comes to improving their city.
Since 2012, the NYC School Construction Authority has implemented an overwhelming majority of PBNYC projects, followed by the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Community groups can get more specific information about needs and priorities in their district, to better advocate for specific neighborhood needs.
For example, of the 982 projects for libraries and schools on NYC ballots since 2012,
- 236 mention ‘tech’
- 61 mention ‘library’
- 56 mention ‘bathroom’
- 50 mention ‘air conditioning’
- 41 mention ‘electric’
- 20 mention ‘security’
- 13 mention ‘ADA’
- 11 mention ‘music’
- 10 mention ‘water’
This breakdown lifts up top priorities for improving schools and libraries across the city.
You can find the original version of this blog post on The Participatory Budgeting Project’s site at www.participatorybudgeting.org/participatory-budgeting-in-nyc/.