Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process that allows residents to help determine how public funds are spent. The City of Greensboro adopted Participatory Budgeting in 2015.
The City's Budget and Evaluation staff helps guide the process with advice from the Participatory Budgeting Commission.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does PB work?
The process works like this:
Watch this video, produced by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for Cycle 1, to learn more about the participatory budgeting process.
How much money is set aside for PB?
City Council sets aside $500,000 for PB projects. Each of the five City Council districts has up to $100,000 for residents to decide upon for capital projects.
What are capital projects?
Capital projects are one-time expenditures that benefit the public, are implemented by the City on City property, and usually involve improvements to or purchases of physical infrastructure. Capital projects may have some sort of associated operating cost; however, they do not require the City to hire additional staff. Before projects are put before a public vote, they must be reviewed by City staff and approved by the City Manager to ensure they meet all legal requirements.
What are the goals of PB?
The goal of PB is to improve the quality of life for Greensboro residents. To this end, the PB handbook says the steering committee seeks to encourage:
Access: In order for PB to be successful, it must be accessible to all members of the community, regardless of language, age, mobility, or lack of access to technology.
Empowerment: The steering committee wants to encourage collaboration across neighborhoods and districts to influence decisions that impact Greensboro.
Evaluation: The steering committee will evaluate its effort and ensure it works well.
Transparency: The steering committee will communicate the means in which community members can be involved in PB, the way the process works, and how decisions are made on the City budget so the process is clear and understandable.
Process Integrity: The steering committee and PC process operate with consistency, discipline, transparency, and accountability.
Equity: PB will support the people of Greensboro to advocate for their needs and impact decisions around resource allocation.
Empowerment: The steering committee wants to empower all people to use their voices by participating in civic life.
Community Building: The steering committee wants to strengthen democracy in Greensboro by helping to create more community leaders through civic education and the hands-on experience of the PB process.
Where do I get more information?
Contact the Department of Budget and Evaluation at 336-373-4516.