From the City of Cambridge, April 28, 2017: The fourth Participatory Budgeting cycle – a democratic process in which community members decide directly how to spend part of a public budget – launches soon. The deadline to apply for the Participatory Budgeting Outreach Committee is May 12.

For this next process, the city is setting aside $800,000 for capital projects to improve the community. Winning projects from past cycles include a public toilet in Central Square, bike repair stations, a freezer van for prepared food rescue, water bottle fill stations and bilingual books for children learning English.

The city seeks volunteers to serve on the Participatory Budgeting Outreach Committee, helping ensure that the process engages as many community members as possible. Committee members will serve throughout the May to December cycle by: organizing community events and promoting the process through persona; networks and social media; attending monthly outreach strategy sessions from May to November (minus September); distributing fliers, door hangers and posters around Cambridge; setting up and volunteering for at least two idea collection events in June and July; setting up and volunteering for at least two voting events during Vote Week in December; working in mobile voting teams during Vote Week in December to increase voter turnout from last year; and recruiting volunteers to serve as budget delegates. The committee schedule is here.

Committee members will work closely with Budget Department staff. Food will be provided at meetings, and each volunteer will receive a T-shirt.

For information, visit pb.cambridgema.gov or contact Justin Casanova-Davis and Michelle Monsegur in the budget office by calling (617) 349-4270 or sending email to [email protected].