Somerville residents ages 17 and older can apply now to review ideas submitted for the City’s first-ever round of Participatory Budgeting
Applications due May 20, 2023
SOMERVILLE – The City of Somerville is now accepting applications from residents ages 17 and older to join the City’s Participatory Budgeting process as Budget Delegate Volunteers. This role will give residents hands-on experience working directly with City staff to review Participatory Budgeting idea submissions and determine which 20 ideas will be voted on by their fellow residents. No previous finance or budgeting experience is required; all residents will be given training and background as needed.
The time commitment for Budget Delegates will consist of an orientation meeting (about two hours), tentatively scheduled for June 15, 2023. Then ten recurring, in-person, meetings will take place on Thursday nights from 6 to 8 p.m. starting in June and ending in August. The location of these meetings will be confirmed and shared shortly.
To apply, please complete the application here: bit.ly/BudgetDelegateApp or call 617-625-6600 ext. 2107 with any questions or to receive a paper application.
During orientation, Budget Delegates will have the opportunity to choose which of the five subcommittees they would like to join. A minimum of four people will sit on each subcommittee. If necessary, a Budget Delegate may be on multiple subcommittees to ensure this happens.
The subcommittees categories will be:
Parks & Green Spaces
Streets & Sidewalks
Arts & Culture
How many projects a subcommittee will select for the final ballot of 20 will be determined by the proportionality of how many ideas were submitted in that category, with a minimum of one. The current list of ideas is available for the public to look at here.
Once the subcommittees are formed,volunteers will review and research each idea, in consultation with city staff, and narrow down a smaller selection to research further and grade based on the following criteria:
Need (5 points)
Impact (5 points)
Feasibility (5 points)
With these criteria in mind, as well as feedback from City staff on project cost, the subcommittees will select the final 20 allotted proposals for the ballot. All city residents will have the opportunity to vote on the selected proposals in September 2023.
Residents can also stay up to date on one-time or seasonal volunteer opportunities, as well as process updates via the Participatory Budgeting E-Newsletter: http://www.somervillema.gov/PB