Vallejo’s participatory budgeting initiative drives meaningful civic engagement among people of color and other underrepresented groups. Participatory budgeting (PB) – a democratic process through which communities can make choices about how to spend some portion of a public budget — is gaining momentum nationwide. In 2012, Vallejo, California implemented the first city-wide PB process in the nation, which stands out for funding program investments as well as capital projects. The process is designed to maximize civic engagement, especially among groups historically underrepresented in the city’s governance and decision-making. PB Vallejo is open to all city residents ages 16 and over, regardless of immigration status or prior conviction record, and includes language access resources for the city’s largest linguistic groups. PB has been shown to increase the likelihood of eligible residents to vote in regular elections. During its first five cycles, PB Vallejo has engaged more than 20,000 residents to allocate over $8.3 million of public funding. Learn more.
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