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City of Durham News

Posted on: November 9, 2022

Durham Seeks Ideas for Participatory Budgeting Projects

Participatory Budgeting team engages in the community

City Residents Ages 13+ Asked to Submit One-Time Project Ideas from November 10 – December 10

How should the City of Durham spend funding in its next round of participatory budgeting? Residents can soon submit their ideas for one-time projects beginning tomorrow.

Participatory Budgeting (PB Durham) is launching its third cycle of project funding in 2023, and city residents ages 13 and older are encouraged to submit their ideas for one-time projects from November 10 through December 10.

Project ideas can include physical infrastructure ideas, such as playgrounds, bus shelters, and public art as well as technology improvement ideas, such as Wi-Fi umbrellas or solar panels on bus shelters for charging mobile devices. Community enhancement ideas, such as planting street trees, are also encouraged.

Ideas will be accepted online beginning on Thursday, November 10 at PB Durham’s idea collection webpage, which is available in English and Spanish. Ideas will also be collected at upcoming PB Durham idea collection events, which will also provide information on how participatory budgeting works and allow attendees to speak directly with City staff about the process for implementing approved projects. 

The following in-person events are scheduled from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.:

  • Thursday, November 10 at W.D. Hill Recreation Center, 1308 Fayetteville St.
  • Tuesday, November 15 at Holton Career and Resources Center, 401 N. Driver St.
  • Tuesday, November 22 at Walltown Recreation Center, 1308 W. Club Blvd.
  • Tuesday, November 29 at Durham Teen Center at Lyon Park, 1101 Cornell St.
  • Tuesday, December 6 at Weaver Street Recreation Center, 3000 E. Weaver St.

A virtual Spanish idea collection event is scheduled for Wednesday, November 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., and registration is now open on the PB Durham website. An in-person Spanish idea collection event is scheduled for Wednesday, November 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Latino Educational Achievement Partnership (LEAP), located at 1737 Hillandale Rd.

Pop-up events are also planned in November and December at multiple locations and community events throughout the city, and will be available as these events are scheduled on the PB Durham website.

Unlike previous funding cycles, Cycle III will not fund projects through the City Council Ward System, and instead will distribute funding for selected projects that are prioritized around equity using a citywide asset map provided on PB Durham’s idea collection webpage. This map will allow residents to submit their ideas and be used to help guide the PB Durham Steering Committee and City staff to ensure engagement resources are concentrated in the most underserved and underrepresented communities. 

According to Assistant Director Andrew Holland with the City’s Budget and Management Services Department, the changes in Cycle III were needed because the original intent of participatory budgeting prior to the pandemic was to have improvement projects that residents could see and experience within their neighborhoods. 

“We want residents to have the opportunity to work alongside City staff to brainstorm and develop project ideas to ensure projects are feasible, equitable, and will have a direct impact on the most underserved neighborhoods throughout Durham,” said Holland. “Having residents submit ideas for what they believe the city should fund in their communities gives them a real voice in their local government decision-making process on how their tax dollars are put back into their communities. 

Once the idea collection phase closes on Saturday, December 10, PB Durham will begin recruiting residents to serve as budget delegates during the proposal development phase. Budget delegates are volunteers who will work alongside the PB Durham Steering Committee and City staff to develop the ideas submitted into proposals between March and July 2023. 

Once those proposals are created, residents will then be asked to vote for their favorites in September 2023. Once residents have voted for their preferred projects, the funding requests for those vote-winning projects will go before the City Council for their review and approval in fall 2023, with project implementation beginning shortly thereafter.

For more information, visit the PB Durham website, send an email to PB Durham staff, or call (919) 560-4111, ext. 20290. Residents are also encouraged to follow PB Durham on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest information.

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