The USA based Center for Effective Government has just published a blog reporting the rapid growth of Participatory Budgeting in New York, since the first time it was trialled there only a few years ago. In 2011 pioneering elected officials of 4 city districts each put $1m of their own discretionary funds into a new PB process, advised by the Participatory Budgeting Project.
The success of the first year and the commitment of politicians and support of grass roots campaign groups means PB has grown year on year. In the latest round 24 districts participated, just under half of the city. $25m was on the table and 50,000 New Yorkers cast ballots.
In his blog Scott Klinger points out… "Participants represented the rich diversity of New York: two-thirds were women, and more than a third were born outside the United States. Half earned less than $50,000. The process welcomes young New Yorkers, with those 16 and over able to participate city-wide, and citizens as young as 14 can have a say in a few districts. Voting materials are prepared in ten languages."