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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 18, 2023 

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Civic Engagement Commission Launches Second Cycle of “The People’s Money” Citywide Participatory Budgeting Process

All New Yorkers 11 and older can now submit ideas on how to spend part of the city budget

NEW YORK – New York City Civic Engagement Commission (CEC) Chair and Executive Director Dr. Sarah Sayeed today announced the launch of a new cycle of “The People’s Money” — New York City’s citywide participatory budgeting process. All New Yorkers, ages 11 and up, will be able to decide how to spend part of the city’s budget. From October 10th to November 19th, 2023, residents can submit ideas for projects to address community needs. Ideas can be submitted online or in-person at idea generation workshops across the five boroughs.

Last year, the CEC ran this process for the first time in New York City history, inviting thousands of residents to submit ideas and ultimately vote on programs for their communities. In August, Mayor Adams and the CEC announced the funded programs from Cycle 1, which are currently in their implementation phase. These 46 programs address community needs such as, youth, mental health services, food access, job training, workers’ rights, senior services, immigrant services, arts and culture, and the environment.

“Participation leads to more participation. More than 100,000 New Yorkers participated in the first-ever citywide participatory budgeting effort, and we can't wait to see how many more New Yorkers will take the reins of the budget this time around,” said Betsy MacLean, NYC Chief Engagement Officer.  “As we saw with last year’s great success, putting budget decisions in the hands of New Yorkers - particularly New Yorkers who have been historically and systematically left out of these decisions - leads to great outcomes, increases civic engagement, and advances equity.  I cannot wait to see what New Yorkers come up with, especially some of our youngest New Yorkers.”

“The CEC is proud to launch a new cycle of The People’s Money! Tens of thousands of New Yorkers submitted ideas, volunteered, and voted in this process over the past year, demonstrating the value and impact of participatory budgeting,” said Dr. Sarah Sayeed, CEC Chair & Executive Director. “We are so excited this year to work with many diverse community partners to connect even more New Yorkers to this process. Sharing ideas is the first step to identifying pressing needs and opportunities, and we encourage all residents to make their voices heard.”

Through a robust and inclusive engagement process where over 200 groups, entities, and community-based organizations’ (CBOs) submitted proposals, the CEC, and a diverse group of 104 selected partner organizations will be opening their doors to host idea-generating sessions at conveniently located sites citywide. Residents will also be able to submit ideas via the CEC’s online platform

These community partners will engage in grassroots outreach primarily directed toward New Yorkers who have typically been left out of the democratic process. This includes a targeted effort in 33 neighborhoods, as identified by the Taskforce on Racial Inclusion and Equity as most heavily impacted by COVID-19, and with specific communities, such as those with limited English proficiency, youth (11-21), veterans, people with disabilities, immigrants, NYCHA residents, older adults, the faith-based community, LGBTQIA+, and justice-impacted residents.

This new cycle of The People’s Money process will run in four phases:

  • Phase 1: Idea Generation
    • October 10 – November 19, 2023: Residents submit ideas online or in-person for projects to address community needs.
  • Phase 2: Project Development
    • January – February 2024: Committees of volunteers evaluate submitted ideas against equity criteria and develop projects to appear on ballots.
  • Phase 3: Voting
    • April – May 2024: Residents vote online or in-person at a vote site in their neighborhoods.
  • Phase 4: Project Implementation
    • June 2024 – July 2025: Winning projects are announced, funded, implemented, and monitored.

“The participatory budget is essential for all New Yorkers to make their voices heard,” said Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Commissioner Manuel Castro. “The new cycle of The People’s Money means greater collaboration with community partners on the ground to bring about real change. After the success of the last cycle, we are excited to see more immigrant New Yorkers play a role in the democratic process and see the projects come to life.”

“NYC Service applauds the inclusive and community-led phase of ‘The People’s Money’ which harnesses the creativity and ingenuity of New Yorkers,” said Chief Service Officer Laura Rog. “Thank you to the volunteers, civic leaders, and community-based organizations powering this important phase of the participatory budgeting process.” 

“The Mayor’s Public Engagement Unit understands how vital it is for New Yorkers to have a say in their government, and that includes having a say in where money goes. We look forward to supporting this new cycle of the People’s Money to continue bridging the gap between New Yorker and New York City government,” said Adrienne Lever, Executive Director of the Public Engagement Unit. “We are so happy that thousands of New Yorkers answered the call to participate in the last cycle of the city’s budgeting process and are thrilled that even more New Yorkers will be empowered to use their voices in this next cycle of the People’s Money.”

“University Settlement is honored to partner with the Civic Engagement Commission to support the citywide participatory budgeting process.

“Creating real opportunities for civic engagement by inviting all New York residents ages 11 and up to contribute ideas and vote on projects, this process strengthens our connections to one another and our democracy,” said Melissa Aase, CEO of University Settlement. “We’re excited for the opportunity to once again engage our neighbors in conversations about how the city budget can support our communities’ priorities.”

"Nonprofit Staten Island is excited to further its partnership with the CEC this year to help bring The People's Money to Staten Island,” said Tatiana Arguello, Executive Director, Nonprofit Staten Island. “We know our borough often ends up under-represented and, as a result, can be under-resourced, so we're happy to seize the opportunity to get the word out about Cycle 2 of Participatory Budgeting and begin supporting our diverse communities in generating their ideas for spending."

"NICE supports the Participatory Budget process because it empowers community members to know they have a voice in the development of their neighborhoods,” said Hildalyn Colon Hernandez, Deputy Director, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). “We plan on hosting meetings with NICE members so they can collectively brainstorm ideas to pitch for a project.”

“The Ali Forney Center is proud to proud to participate in the idea generating sessions for the next participatory budgeting cycle. LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness in NYC are often left out of the conversation but hold an intersection of some of our societies most marginalized and vulnerable,” said Nadia Swanson, Director of Technical Assistance and Advocacy, The Ali Forney Center. “Opportunities like PB to let the city know how to best serve them are vital to ending youth homelessness.”

"COPO passionately supports participatory budgeting (PB) because we firmly believe that everyone should have access to budgetary information, allowing them to be active participants in their communities,” said Aasma Mehdi, Chief Operating Officer and Clinical Director, Council Of Peoples Organization (COPO). “We encourage the idea that people from diverse backgrounds, regardless of language or cultural differences, possess the fundamental right to knowledge and to take action."

To stay connected to The People’s Money, sign up for the CEC’s newsletter at, and follow @NYCCEC on X, Facebook, and Instagram. To learn more about the process, visit