Contract to manage $30M Seattle participatory budgeting program

In April, the City of Seattle announced that it had selected the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) to manage the city’s $30 million participatory budgeting program, pending completion of a contract. Last Friday the contract with PBP was finally signed. PBP will be paid $2.75 million to run the program.

PBP was heavily involved in the original Black Brilliance Research Project that resulted in a recommendation that the city have a participatory budgeting program of its own to decide on projects to fund to benefit BIPOC communities. And in its April announcement, the Office of Civil Rights noted that PBP was the only organization that responded to its RFP for the management contract.

According to the timeline of deliverables in the report, voting is now expected to occur next March and April (2023).

The contract also specifies that the online platform Decidim will be used to administer the program.

There are still many difficult issues that need to be worked out in relation to the city’s participatory budgeting program, including which organizations are eligible to submit proposals for consideration, and who will be eligible to vote.

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