July 21, 2014
Boston's first youth driven participatory budgeting, "Youth Lead the Change," culminated in June with Boston youth 12-25 years old voting on how to spend $1 million in public funds. This project is lead by the City of Boston and the non-profit Participatory Budgeting Project. Unlike other forms of civic engagement, participatory budgeting provides an opportunity for residents as collaborative decision makers. Residents are involved in every part of the process: identifying community priorities, working directly with government officials on viable projects, and voting on which projects to implement. The decisions are binding. According to Dr. Hollie Russon Gilman, New America Civic Innovation Fellow, "It also reimagines what is possible for a 21st century elected officials. Engaging with constituents can be more than simply a twitter account"