Teens from the YES Leadership Program were invited to the City of Boston’s first-ever participatory budgeting process. This exciting new initiative – called Youth Lead the Change – was launched by the city’s Office of Youth Engagement & Advancement. It is the first of its kind in North America – a participatory budgeting process created by and intended for young people!
As part of Phase 1 of the process, young people from YES were solicited for their input on how they think the City of Boston should spend a $1M line item in the budget. The goal of Phase 1 (Idea Collection) is to collect as many ideas as possible from local young people on what changes they would like to see throughout the city. During subsequent phases, these ideas will be turned into the project proposals that will end up on Boston’s official ballot. This is an important step to ensure the use of funds reflect the wants and needs of Boston’s youth.
YES teens submitted several suggestions on how they would like to see the funds used. Their ideas included installing heated bus shelters, installing solar-powered benches to charge cell phones, expanding free “little lending libraries”, removing anti-houseless persons infrastructure, and providing safe needle disposals in public places.
Thank you to the City of Boston’s Office of Youth Engagement & Advancement for inviting YES Leadership Corps teens to engage in these important conversations and allowing them an opportunity to participate in the budgeting process and make their voices heard regarding city-wide issues.
Learn more about the Office of Youth Engagement & Advancement here – https://www.boston.gov/departments/youth-engagement-and-advancement.