Participatory Budgeting

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What is Participatory Budgeting?

Power of Your Voice

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members recommend to the City Council how to spend part of a public budget. It enables taxpayers to work with government to make the budget decisions that affect their lives. Developed first in Brazil in 1989, Participatory Budgeting is now practiced in over 1,500 cities around the world.

In 2012, the Vallejo City Council established the first city-wide PB process in the Unities States, where residents directly engaged with their local government to develop and recommend projects as part of the annual budget. Over the past five cycles, the City of Vallejo has allocated over $8.3 million to fund a total of 47 projects, while engaging over 20,000 residents of Vallejo.

Cycle  6

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Participatory Budgeting

Awards & Acknowledgements

  • Top 10 Innovations in Public Engagement Award from the Ash Center at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government (May 2015)
  • League of California Cities 2014 Helen Putnam Award for Enhancing Public Trust, Ethics, and Community Involvement (September 2014)
  • UC Berkeley Chancellor's Award for Public Service (May 2017)



The City and Vallejo residents’ involvement in Participatory Budgeting has made Vallejo a model for city and government institutions worldwide. Through new partnerships with universities and educational institutions, non-profit organizations, generated recognition from The White House, The Atlantic, Slate Magazine, Time and National Public Radio, Vallejo has become the gold standard for public participation and collaborative government.

Time Magazine #83 Reasons to Celebrate America

PB Advocates

Pictured from Left to Right: City Of Vallejo Staff Alea Gage and Joanna Altman; Former City of Vallejo City Councilmember and PB advocate Marti Brown, during 2014 Summit at The White House on Participatory Budgeting