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Volunteer Spotlight
The City of Greensboro asked budget delegates to share their experiences about Greensboro’s first participatory budgeting process. Below are the experiences of District 1 Delegate Robert Davis, in his own words.

PB Delegate Robert Davis

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Robert Davis. I was born and raised in North Carolina. We have lived in Greensboro since 1979. [My wife and I] are currently retired and now finding more time to get involved in civic issues.

How did you first get involved in PB and why?
I became involved in PB in November 2015. We heard about it via a neighborhood community meeting. We were not sure what it entailed at the time, but it sounded interesting in giving the people a say-so in how their tax dollars are spent directly. We had a background in political thought as we are political science graduates from NC A&T State University.

What did you end up doing in the PB process?
The process for Greensboro was based on five areas of interest: arts and culture, parks and recreation, safety and environment, special projects and streets, sidewalks and transportation. We served as a budget delegate for streets and transportation. We were tasked with finding capital projects in our district that would fit into the $100,000 per district limit. Based on the idea gathering meetings, we got suggestions for things like bus shelters, crosswalks and turn lanes, park beautification, art murals and signs, etc. From this, we developed four project proposals and after some changes, they all were able to pass the vetting process and eventually were approved by the voters.

What most surprised you about your experience with PB?
Well, as this was the first time for PB in this part of the country, it was interesting to see the number of people who came out to neighborhood assemblies and the gamut of suggestions made that probably were not on the radar for those in government that normally make those decisions. It really does give you some sense of empowerment to suggest a project and actually see it pass for implementation.

What were the biggest impacts of PB on the community or on you personally?
I believe the greatest impact on the community will be in being able to see a project that they voted on come to completion with the satisfaction of saying that we can do it.

Greensboro Participatory Budgeting (PB) needs volunteers. This is an opportunity for individuals to hone facilitation and outreach skills, learn more about City government, and engage diverse community members.

Volunteer positions include:

Sign up to volunteer
Download this online application and e-mail it to us. (Instructions available on the application.)

Volunteer Roles and Responsibilities

Outreach Organizers:
Organizers assist with community outreach efforts, and engage marginalized and under-represented communities to increase PB awareness and engagement. These volunteers can use PB posters and postcards in their efforts.
Time commitment: 2-4 hours per week in March, April, October and November.

Assembly Facilitators:

Assembly facilitators oversee small group discussions at neighborhood assemblies to help participants brainstorm project ideas. 
Time commitment: 3-4 hours per week from April to early May. 

Budget Delegates:

Budget delegates help turn community ideas into project proposals. They identify local needs, prioritize and consult with residents on project ideas, and work with City staff to develop projects. An ideal candidate would have experience with outreach or meeting facilitation and a flexible schedule. Budget delegates must attend one training session. 
Time commitment: 2-4 hours per week from May to October. 

Budget Delegate Facilitators:

Facilitators oversee the work of the Budget Delegates and help them assess and develop projects in a timely fashion. Budget delegate facilitators must attend one training session. 
Time commitment: 2-4 hours per week from May to October.

Poll Workers:
Help residents understand the ballot and voting process. Poll workers must attend a training session. 
Time commitment: 2-6 hours per week from late-October to mid-November.

Steering Committee Members:
The Steering Committee helps set policies for Participatory Budgeting and advises City staff. Committee members must be appointed by a City Council member. Interest forms must be submitted to the City Clerk.

Last updated: 11/28/2017 11:42:02 AM