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Data Points Podcast Episode 51 - What's up with Participatory Budgeting

Budgets are often long, complicated, and difficult for the average city resident to understand. But they don’t have to be. Participatory budgeting is a tool growing in use that helps residents understand and actively contribute to budgeting decisions in a city. Since it started in Brazil in the 1980s, participatory budgeting has spread around the world.

In this episode, we talk with representatives from two organizations using different participatory budgeting mechanisms to explain the why, what, and how of making budgets more participatory. First we discussed the nuts and bolts of doing participatory budgeting in a city government with City Manager Louis DePasquale and Budget Director Sarah Stanton of Cambridge, MA. Then we explored a gamified way of thinking about engaging people through budgets with Kelsey Foster, who is the Campaign Manager of the People’s Budget at the Committee for a Better New Orleans. To learn more about these techniques, check out and

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