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The original item was published from 1/25/2021 3:20:44 PM to 1/25/2021 3:23:36 PM.

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City of Durham News

Posted on: January 25, 2021

[ARCHIVED] How Should Durham Spend $1 Million in Participatory Budgeting Funding for COVID-19 Response?

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Online Survey Open Until February 14 to Collect Feedback on Cycle 2 Funding Priorities

The City of Durham’s second round of participatory budgeting will look a bit different in an effort to respond to community needs stemming from COVID-19.

During the first cycle of funding last year, over 10,000 residents participated in Participatory Budgeting Durham (PB Durham), which is a democratic process that allows residents to directly decide how to spend part of the public budget. During PB Durham Cycle 1, residents submitted ideas, served as budget delegates, and voted on how $2.4 million was spent on one-time community projects in each of the city’s three wards.

As Durham continues to deal with the impacts of COVID-19, the second cycle of PB Durham funding will look a bit different with a new scope. This year, PB Durham has formed a grant program for Durham-based nonprofits and community organizations offering COVID-19 relief assistance. To do this, the City Council approved $1 million for organizations directly serving residents impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as organizations addressing issues contributing to racial, economic, and social injustices in the Bull City. The selected non-profit and/or community organizations will be eligible to receive up to $50,000 in grant funding to help them provide services or programming in communities most adversely impacted by the current pandemic. 

In order to help rank priority areas to receive funding, residents are invited to participate in a short online survey. The survey, now available in English or Spanish, is available from January 25 through February 14, 2021. Residents who submit their responses will also be eligible to win a $100 VISA gift card for participating.

According to Participatory Budgeting Manager Andrew Holland, this year’s funding cycle is designed to help those who have been most impacted by COVID-19. “It’s important that we seek the input from our most vulnerable and underserved community members, especially during this pandemic, as they have been the most impacted as a result of COVID-19,” Holland said. “Moreover, PB Cycle 2 allows our Durham based non-profits and community organizations to assist with providing COVID-19 relief assistance to these communities.”

After the survey closes, nonprofit and community organizations will then be encouraged to submit proposals later next month that directly addresses the needs identified through the online resident survey. Once proposals are received, City staff and residents serving as budget delegates will review and score the proposals based on feasibility, legality, and project budgets. Then, in spring 2021, all city residents and students 13 years and older will have an opportunity to vote on the project proposals to select which non-profits and community organizations will receive funding for their projects beginning in July 2021.

For more information about PB Durham Cycle 2 grant funding, visit the PB Durham website, email PB Durham staff, or call (984) 227-3395. Residents may also follow this initiative for the latest updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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