The “Your Voice, Your Choice” program is an innovative initiative that directly engages Seattle residents in civic decision making by allocating funding to neighborhood improvement projects brainstormed by local individuals. Generally referred to as participatory budgeting, “Your Voice, Your Choice” is a democratic program wherein individuals directly decide how to spend a portion of the public budget by proposing and voting on neighborhood improvements.
The 2017 focus for “Your Voice, Your Choice” are physical and capital improvement projects involving Seattle’s parks and streets (Think new sidewalks, cross walks, and light park infrastructure). The Department of Neighborhoods is in the brainstorming phase of this year’s initiative and would like to invite UW students to contribute their ideas. The project budget stands at around $2 million, with a maximum of $90,000 in funds available for each accepted proposal.
“Your Voice, Your Choice” is an ideal way of getting young people excited about civic engagement and public work. Additionally, the Department of Neighborhoods is looking to directly interface with university students by providing on campus outreach during school hours.