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Uplifting youth voices in participatory budgeting


Project Background: Who, Where, & When

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Youth are uniquely impacted by COVID-19 and are vastly underrepresented in government decisions made on their behalf. That’s why PB Oregon is co-launching the Youth Voice, Youth Vote PB (YV² PB) in 2022. Oregon's first PB process, YV² PB, enlists youth to propose and select over $500,000 in COVID-19 relief and recovery projects in State Senate Districts 24 and 25, a project area (right) that spans East Portland, East Multnomah County, and portions of North Clackamas County and over seven school districts. The first cycle of PB in 2022 and 2023 will allocate American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars committed by State Legislators Kayse Jama, Chris Gorsek, and Ricki Ruiz. A second cycle could allocate ARPA funds from the City of Portland and City of Gresham within a smaller project area in 2023 and 2024. Over the course of two PB cycles, YV² PB aims to engage at least 5,000 people in exercising their power to benefit their communities and spearhead PB in Oregon. In the process, YV² PB promises to expand civic leadership and organizing skills while enhancing and rebuilding community, relationships, and mental health outcomes. 

Youth Voice Youth Vote Project Area

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Oregon's First Participatory Budgeting Process

By sharing real power over real money, participatory budgeting (PB) taps the expertise of those most impacted by systemic inequities by provides a mechanism to directly engage those most underrepresented in government in decision making. By exercising their power though the PB process, participants expand the civic leadership and organizing skills that power social movements while building trust and transparency around the use of public funds. PB has spread rapidly around the globe since starting in Brazil in 1989 and across the US after launching in Chicago in 2009. But PB has yet to come to Oregon–until now. With the strategic investment of ARPA funds by State Legislators, organizational commitments, and both individual and grant donations to kickstart this effort, YV² PB will launch Oregon's first PB process.

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The first PB cycle starting in 2022 will aim to engage at least 2,000 youth across these phases: process implementation, project development, outreach, and voting to decide how to spend roughly $500,000 in ARPA funds in early 2023. If we are successful in securing additional ARPA funds a second PB cycle will run in 2023 to 2024. We are also seeking $180,000 in funding to further support youth-led design and implementation with extensive community outreach and engagement ensure robust and equitable participation.

Core  Organizations

Five core organizations (Core 5), Seeding Justice, a local foundation, and the three State Legislators signed a Declaration of Cooperation in June 2021 to implement YV² PB

PB Oregon We work for more participatory and just public budgeting for all Oregonians by centering the expertise and leadership of underrepresented communities.


Rosewood Initiative A place-based nonprofit that supports community-driven solutions for a healthier neighborhood. We work together with neighbors and partners to make an impact on the lives of Rosewood residents.


East County Rising Community Projects A grassroots organization energizing East Multnomah County residents to create equitable, livable communities centering underrepresented & marginalized people


Unite Oregon Led by people of color, immigrants and refugees, rural communities, and people experiencing poverty, we work across Oregon to build a unified intercultural movement for justice.

Play Grow Learn Dedicated to healthy opportunities for sheltered and underserved youth in the community to play, grow, and learn. Initially aimed to support homeless youth, with the extended mission to serve all disenfranchised youth and families.

Project Updates

After several months of planning, PB Oregon, Unite Oregon, Rosewood Initiative, East County Rising Community Projects, Play Grow Learn, and Seeding Justice signed a Memoranda of Understanding on March 7, 2022 to implement the first cycle of YV² PB in 2022-2023. The Core 5 organizations are engaged in a variety of project planning activities with the goal of launching idea collection in October.

Since signing the Declaration of Cooperation last July, we have raised over $60,000 from private foundations for process development and implementation. We are actively pursuing an additional $130,000 in funding support robust youth-led design and implementation. In the first cycle, we hope to engage at least 2,000 youth through process design, idea collection, project development, outreach, and voting to decide how to spend at least $500,000 in ARPA funds, and project implementation. We are also pursing a larger pot ARPA funds from the City of Portland and City of Gresham for a 2nd cycle of PB in 2023-2024 that would engage an additional 3,000 youth.

In February we convened our amazing YV² PB Youth Consultant Committee (YCC) to recruit and select youth candidates for the YV² PB Steering Committee. The YCC members (pictured below left to right) include Azaria Coakley, Danny Cage, Kaylee Sales, Lisbeth Marquez-Delgado and Jessica Monje Perez. The YCC is helped craft the YV² PB Steering Committee Application which is accepting submissions until May 9. This paid summer opportunity for up to 10 youth collaboratively create the YV² PB process rule book, the first step of the PB process. The rule book will detail the specific rules, constraints, and opportunities for allocating ARPA funds to eligible COVID-19 relief and recovery in State Senate Districts 24 and 25.

Complete the YV² PB Interest Form

We would love to connect with anyone that may be interested in learning more about and/or participating in the YV² PB project. Please share this interest form with youth who may be interested in participating in the East Metro Legislative Districts.

Complete the YV² PB Volunteer Form

We need volunteers who are committed to supporting youth leadership. Sign up here.

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