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The Government We Need: How government can make public budgeting more participatory

Shari Davis talks with The Government We Need about building a more inclusive, democratic public budgeting process.

By GovFresh · August 5, 2020

In this episode

Participatory budgeting is a process that empowers community members to help decide how to spend part of a public budget. PB started in Brazil in 1989, and has since spread to more than 7,000 cities around the world. It has been used to decide budgets from states, counties, cities, housing authorities, schools, and other institutions. The New York Times calls PB “revolutionary civics in action.”

In this episode, we talk with Participatory Budgeting Project Executive Director Shari Davis. PBP is a nonprofit organization advancing participatory budgeting across the United States and Canada. It has helped more than 400,000 people directly decide how to spend $300 million in public funds in 29 cities.

Shari joined PBP after nearly 15 years of service and leadership in local government, including serving as Director of Youth Engagement and Employment for the City of Boston, where she launched Youth Lead the Change, the first youth PB process in the United States, which won the United States Conference of Mayors City Livability Award.

Shari talks with of The Government We Need about how government can make public budgeting more participatory and, as PBP says, give people real power over real money.

Call to action