What is Participatory Budgeting?
Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process where community members decide how to spend part of a public budget. PB gives communities real power over real money.
PB started in Porto Alegre, Brazil as an anti-poverty measure, and has since spread to over 7,000 cities around the world. PB has been used to spend state, county, and city budgets, as well as those of schools, housing authorities, and other public institutions.
The People’s Bus is a bus formerly used to transport people detained on Rikers Island; it has been transformed with input from New Yorkers into a community center on wheels, with the purpose of engaging people in NYC’s civic life through beauty and joy.
The People’s Bus will be joined at each stop by the Ice Cream Truck of Rights, a new and artistic take on the traditional ice cream truck that will provide free ice cream while creatively educating the recipients about their housing, immigration, labor and voting rights. At each festival stop these vehicles will be complimented by an array of additional resources being provided by arts organizations, government agencies, community groups, and neighborhood leaders.
These festivals will build off the themes of civic engagement, knowing your rights, economic empowerment, food security, climate justice, and mental health & well being. Development of these themes, of the festival, and of the bus’ transformation were done with input from New Yorkers, in particular The People’s Fellows, a cohort of youth fellows from throughout NYC that joined CEC this summer.