Youth Lead the Change: Youth Participatory Budgeting
The initiative empowers youth to participate in decision-making. Youth are directly involved in participatory budgeting with allocated resources (1 million US$ per year), participatory policymaking and citywide collaborations. Its objective is to increase youth engagement in civic affairs and thereby cultivate lifelong commitment. An extensive network of partners has been created with youth serving agencies, universities and schools. The project has evolved since its first phase to include children as young as 12 years old and incorporates the voice of disenfranchised groups such as homeless youth and youth involved in gangs in detention centers. National and international partnerships are being forged with other cities such as Baku in Azerbaijan.
The initiative is considered exemplary in its commitment to forging collaboration between cities facing challenges with rigorous participatory methodologies led by youth, and continued focus on increasing the voice of youth in local government decision making.