Here's how the process will unfold over the course of the next year.
The PB steering committee is a collection of community residents, three from each of the city wards.
The City has assigned staff members to support the steering committee's participatory budgeting process efforts. They'll assist in planning and liaison work with appropriate departments to support and respond to inquiries.
Through participatory budgeting, we will empower the people of Grand Rapids to make timely, informed decisions that lead to visible and lasting improvements within their neighborhoods. Our work will be guided by the value of equity, with an intentional and transparent process designed to include marginalized voices, people with lived experience, and diverse groups. This process will be structured to remove barriers and build community capacity.
The participatory budgeting process takes time to complete. The steering committee helps guide and facilitate the progress of the process. As this is the initial year for the participatory budgeting for the City of Grand Rapids, some of the timeline dates will be added as we work through the process. Peer cities are on 9-12 month timelines but our goal remains to have it be a shorter process.
Review past steering committee meeting minutes and learn about upcoming public engagement meetings on this page.
The participatory budgeting steering committee meetings take place each week. We'll post our meeting minutes and related documents for transparency of our process and discussion.
As we roll out the participatory budgeting process, we'll have opportunities for the public to engage in the process. Check back soon for more details.
The initial funds for Participatory Budgeting GR are provided for by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The ARPA funds have limitations based on federal mandates. The participatory budgeting process follows PBP best practice for municipal budgeting which outlines $1 million per 100,000 in population. The $2 million that Grand Rapids has set aside for participatory budgeting exceeds similar sized cities such as Oakland, CA ($185K per 100K), Durham, NC ($889K per 100K) and Sacramento, CA ($200K per 100K).
The City Commission decided to distribute funds through graduated dispersal of $2 million across the City’s three wards. This allows for investment based in part on the distribution of demographic and economic factors in each Ward. The graduated ward distribution of funds includes:
The initial funds for Participatory Budgeting GR are provided for by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The ARPA funds have limitations based on federal mandates. To help community members understand what can be funded, we've provided guidance on expenditures to align with ARPA requirements.
Participatory Budgeting GR is recruiting volunteers. Become a PB volunteer and help community members develop ideas and get them on the ballot.
If you are interested to become a volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
If you want more opportunities to engage and shape how the city spends its funds outside of the participatory budgeting process, get involved with a board or commission. You can apply to serve on one of these boards and commissions or send your ideas to the board via public comment at meetings or via written requests. Click the links below for information on each board or commission.
Send us an email at email@example.com
Learn more about the nonprofit Participatory Budgeting Project.
Outreach, Education and Ideation