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Participatory Budgeting


A democratic process in which community members decide how to spend part of a public budget.

Keep in Mind

Use this when seeking to develop extensive community involvement in budget choices, particularly when there are significant differences of opinion in the community about spending new tax dollars or one-time funds, where community trust is low and/or where there are “new” revenues to allocate.

Why This Approach?

Participatory Budgeting can offer the following outcomes:

  • Give community members a say in what public funds are spent on
  • Can make for better and fairer decisions
  • Could lead to more active and democratic citizens
  • May make government more accountable and efficient
  • Create opportunities for local elected officials to connect with constituents

Participatory Budgeting Case Stories From California and Beyond

Below are stories of local agencies using a participatory budget approach to involve residents in the budgeting process.

Case Story

City of Vallejo Launches Third Cycle of Participatory Budgeting

The City of Vallejo launched their third cycle of Participatory Budgeting (PB) in 2015, a process that gives residents and stakeholders the opportunity to develop and prioritize community-generated ideas for a portion of the city budget for city council consideration.

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