Youth involvement in community decision-making is considered a core principle of both youth advocacy and progressive governance. Yet, in many communities formal roles for youth remain limited. This paper presents data from a youth-led participatory budgeting process in Boston, Massachusetts (US). The City of Boston has institutionalized a formal process through which numerous youth can contribute ideas and vote on capital projects to receive city funding. A smaller group of youth are engaged in even greater depth. They are trained and work to facilitate submission of ideas, turn ideas into proposals, and encourage youth voting. We use data to identify concerns expressed by youth, their ideas for solutions, and the movement from ideas to funded projects. Implications for further development of participatory budgeting as a mechanism for youth civic engagement are discussed.
SOURCE: Mary Elizabeth Collins, Astraea Augsberger, Whitney Gecker & Katharine Lusk, “What does youth-led participatory budgeting reveal about youth priorities? Ideas, votes, and decisions”, Journal of Youth Studies, Published online 31 Oct 2017
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