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Participatory Budgeting Long Beach

From the Participatory Budgeting Long Beach 2015-2016 Rulebook:

In the fall of 2014, Long Beach City Councilmember Rex Richardson launched the first PB [participatory budgeting] process in Southern California, with Councilwomen Lena Gonzalez and Suzie Price leading pilot processes in the First and Third Districts in the spring of 2015. Through PB, the community is invited to help decide how to spend a hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital infrastructure funds and program funds that Councilmembers have discretion over.

The process is spread out over five phases:

Planning: District Committee & Council staff book event spaces, recruit facilitators and volunteers, childcare & translation, and conduct outreach.
Idea Collection: At community meetings across the city, city staff present information on the budget funds, and residents meet in small groups to brainstorm project ideas and volunteer as budget delegates.
Proposal Development: Delegates go through an orientation, then meet in committees to transform the community’s initial project ideas into full proposals, with support from city department staff.
Expos & Vote: Delegates present the final project proposals and residents vote on which projects to fund.
Evaluation & Monitoring: Delegates and other participants evaluate the process, then monitor the implementation of projects.

During the idea collection phase, community members can either submit ideas in-person or through a dedicated online portal run by Open Plans’ Shareabouts where community members can view projects submitted by other users in either a map or list form. Members can also comment on, favorite, and share projects, as well as create their own projects pinpointed on a specific location either using a point on a map or an address where they wish to submit their idea. Each submission contains brief information about the proposal and is classified into one of the following categories:

  • Arts, Culture and Education
  • Parks and Recreation
  • Public Health, Safety and Environment
  • Streets and Sidewalks.

The PB Long Beach Shareabouts map is open source and available on Github.

The project website is no longer active, but a web archive can be found here.

Additional information

Tools used

A list of tools that were used during this project:

References

Additional information and materials about the project: