Participatory budgeting begins when elected officials dedicate resources to the process and define broad goals and constraints. In PB, participants are elevated to context experts, project developers and decision-makers rather than spectators or advisors. PB makes public decisions about public money more equitable and transparent while serving as an investment in civic education and community and leadership building.



Participatory Budgeting can be designed around specific goals and outcomes such as civic or voter education, community building, repairing broken trust, increasing transparency or informing broader spending priorities.  Participatory equity and social inclusion were clear priorities articulated by participants at the April 2018 Community Forum "Bringing Participatory Budgeting to the Portland-region."

PB processes have been used to allocate capital improvements for schools, parks, and transportation or for art, economic development & social services in the context of cities, schools, public housing authorities, and private foundations. PB has even been envisioned for reallocating resources for criminal justice reform. However, research indicates the most impactful PB allocates fully discretionary funds that can provide the widest latitude for the community to develop and select projects.

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Participatory Budgeting Oregon is fiscally sponsored by the Know Agenda Foundation,

a tax-exempt 501c3 non-profit organization.