We aim to increase civic engagement from low and moderate income communities, especially communities of color, in St. Louis, by ward as well as a city wide through Participatory Budgeting.
Participatory budgeting is a process by which residents are able to propose projects for capital improvements in their neighborhood or city, develop those projects and then move to community voting on which projects to be implemented. PB will provide a new avenue for currently disenfranchised voices to reclaim democratic control over infrastructural issues in their communities, while providing access and education to citizens about the city departments that deal with those issues.
St. Louis has a tradition of aldermen controlling the policy process and not letting citizens develop their own ideas. As a result, people do not trust that local government is responsive to them. This lack of real input is one reason why turnout is low in city elections.
We believe that civic apathy can be countered with more access to the city government and a larger voice in the budgeting process that can potentially bring resources where they are most needed.
For more information, check out www.pbstl.com.