The FY 2015-16 PB Cycle 1 ran from September 2015 to May 2016 with 26 winning projects to be funded in FY 2016-17, which started July 1, 2016. Read this one-page overview of Cycle 1.
PB projects receiving the most votes per district were submitted to City Council on June 7, 2016 for inclusion in the FY 2016-17 budget. Project funding became available July 1, 2016. The status of each project will be updated quarterly as progress is made.
City staff, volunteers and residents at the PB International Expo.
More than 1,100 Greensboro residents age 14 and older voted in the City's first participatory budgeting (PB) process in April 2016. The five City Council district ballots included 46 projects based on ideas submitted by residents. Participation included representation from all five City Council districts and from diverse populations within our community. A Phase 1 Evaluation highlights key elements of participation.
Dozens of community volunteers spent hundreds of hours over six months to make this first participatory budgeting process a success. Volunteers served in many roles to help ensure the process was inclusive, transparent, and available to all community members. City staff worked closely with community volunteers to review and vet the project submissions. Well over 2,000 hours of staff time was given to support PB in Greensboro.
In October 2014, the Greensboro City Council approved a resolution authorizing support of Participatory Budgeting for FY 2015-16. Each of the five City Council districts was allocated $100,000 for capital projects, for a total of $500,000. Funding for the administration and launch of the PB process was split between the City and the community, with $100,000 in matching funds from the City. Community match funding included grants from Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, and Fund for Democratic Communities, as well as in-kind services and grants through the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.
The City received professional assistance through a contract with the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), who hired two local on-site outreach coordinators to facilitate the process in our community.
1. Idea Collection: November to December 2015. Neighborhood Assemblies and pop-up events were held throughout the community in the fall. At these meetings, community members generated and proposed initial project ideas to improve their communities. If you were not able to make it to an assembly, take a look at our neighborhood assembly presentation. Idea collection took place until mid-December.
• Results: 1,098 residents engaged, 675 ideas generated on-line and at over 25 events.
2. Budget Proposals: December 2015 to March 2016. Volunteer budget delegates worked to develop these initial ideas into full project proposals, including meeting with City staff to determine project feasibility. Budget delegate committees included:
• Arts & Culture
• Safety & Environment
• Parks & Recreation
• Streets, Sidewalks & Transportation
• Special Projects
All budget delegate committee meetings were open to the public.
• Results: 40 Volunteer budget delegates and facilitators, 28 committee meetings, 2 staff meetings, 1 open house, 10-15 staff reviewers, 75 initial project proposals.
3. Community Expos: March to April 2016. Budget delegates presented project proposals back to the community during project expos. At each expo, residents learned what project proposals they would vote on and what the cost of each proposal was.
• Results: 200 residents attended 10 expo events; 46 projects for the ballot.
4. Community Voting: April 2016. Residents of each district voted on their favorite project in their respective council districts. After voting, projects in each district were ranked by order of highest number of votes to lowest and the $100,000 per district will be allocated based on each district’s list.
• Results: 1,100 voters, 10 locations, 26 winning projects
Winning projects were submitted to the City Manager's Office for inclusion in the FY 2016-17 recommended budget that was voted on by City Council.
5. Implementation: July 2016 and beyond. City staff keep residents informed of project implementation schedules.
6. Evaluation: May to November 2016. A research team, lead by UNCG, is conducting an evaluation of the process to include demographics of those who participated and suggested improvements to make PB better in the future. Read this executive summary of the research.