Children are the Future: Let’s Listen

Everyone knows that children are our future, and the city of Boston put their money where their mouth is.  Boston recently held the “Youth Lead the Change” project, with help from the Participatory Budgeting Project.  This was the first youth-led participatory budgeting process in a U.S. city which empowered young people, ages 12 to 25, to decide where 1 million dollars of public capital should go to best improve their communities. [1]

Participating youth were able to vote in four categories for projects that would better their communityvia text and voting stations.  Projects had to be for brick and mortar infrastructure, such as parks, schools and transportation; projects  had to cost at least $25,000 each and have a life span of at least five years.[2] From those projects submitted, 7 projects were selected. Winners included[3]:

  • Skate-park feasibility study
  • Public art walls to allow local artists to show their work
  • Security cameras for one neighborhood
  • Upgrades to sidewalks and lighting around a park
  • Chromebooks for three high schools.

Looking to learn more about Participatory Budgeting? Check out this video below.

How do you think your community can engage youth voices?

 


[1] http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/boston-young-people-participatory-budgeting-winners-youth-lead-change

[2] http://america.aljazeera.com/opinions/2014/6/participatory-budgetinginfrastructurestudentspoliticscivicinnova.html

[3] http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/column/780065-boston-teens-vote-on-city-budget/


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Stephanie Grocott

I am a skilled event planner and researcher. In my role as Project Specialist, I plan national conferences, manage virtual training events, conduct research, and work on development initiatives for projects such as the MLK Day of Service and Social Innovation Fund. Read more.

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