Help Bring a People's Budget to the Ithaca Community!

What is a People’s Budget?

A People’s Budget is participatory budgeting (PB); a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It enables taxpayers to work with government to make the budget decisions that affect their lives.

How does PB work?

Though each experience is different, most follow a similar basic process: residents brainstorm spending ideas, volunteer budget delegates develop proposals based on these ideas, residents vote on proposals, and the government implements the top projects. For example, if community members identify food access as a priority, their delegates might develop a proposal for a community garden. The residents would then vote on this and other proposals, and if they approve the community garden, the city pays for the project from existing budget funds.


Image by PB Project


Why is PB important?

Gives community members a say…

Ordinary people have more voice – and they get to make real decisions about how public money is spent in their community.

Makes for better and fairer decisions…

Local residents know best what their neighborhood needs. When they meet face to face, they often decide to focus budget proposals on communities with the greatest needs.

Develops active and democratic citizens…

Community members, staff, and officials learn democracy by doing it. They gain more understanding of complex political issues and community needs.

Builds communities and strengthens community organizations…

People get to know their neighbors and feel more connected to their city. Local organizations get to spend less time lobbying, and more time deciding policies themselves. Budget assemblies connect groups and attract new members.

Makes government more accountable and efficient…

When community members decide spending through democratic voting, there are fewer opportunities for corruption, waste, or costly public backlash.

How can I help bring PB to Ithaca?

You can help us immediately by donating to this grassroots campaign. Your donation will go towards helping us cover the travel costs to bring community leaders, residents, and elected officials to talk about how participatory budgeting works in their community. Your donation will also help demonstrate community support for PB — an essential ingredient for grassroots democracy to work.

This campaign is seeking $1,500 to help cover the travel costs for guest speakers to introduce the idea of participatory budgeting at a community event in Ithaca this summer (click here for event details). Speakers will share where and how PB works, experiences implementing PB in their community, and hear from community members about how PB could work in Ithaca.

You can also help us by volunteering at the event, or by telling your friends, family and co-workers about this campaign. If you would like to get involved, please email Matt Green.

How will my donation be used?

Your donation will be used to cover the travel costs for guest speakers to come to Ithaca and talk about participatory budgeting.  100% of your contribution will go towards supporting this campaign (PayPal charges a standard 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction fee). In the event that this campaign does not reach its campaign goal, donations will be used to fund a future speaking event in Ithaca.

Who is involved in this campaign?

This campaign is initiated by Matt Green, a native of Ithaca, NY. Since 2011, Matt has been a volunteer participatory budget committee facilitator, helping residents address public transit issues in Brooklyn, NY. He serves on the PB District Committee in Council District 39 in Brooklyn, NY and on the PBNYC City-wide Steering Committee. He holds a Master of Urban Policy from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy at The New School, and a B.A. from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio.

This campaign is proudly sponsored by the following organizations:



Want to learn more about where PB has worked?  Click “Learn More” below. 

Connect to Participatory Budgeting for Tompkins County


One Comment

  1. Will Cornell
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    This is great! Thank you for putting this together.

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$820 raised
$1500 goal

Ithaca, New York
0 Champions
8 Contributions
Campaign Complete.