Greensboro wraps up first Participatory Budgeting cycle with successful vote!

The Fund for Democratic Communities congratulates the City of Greensboro on a successful start to Participatory Budgeting!

The Fund for Democratic Communities (F4DC) is thrilled by the success of Greensboro’s first Participatory Budgeting (PB) cycle. Our city is the first in the South to launch this innovative program to directly involve residents in the annual budgeting process through a transparent democratic process.

City residents proposed 675 ideas across the city. Volunteer budget delegates worked with City staff to turn these ideas into concrete project proposals. Over the course of a two week voting period 1,123 Greensboro residents voted on projects to be carried out in their Districts.

F4DC Contributed to the first year’s PB process with a grant of $30,000. We are excited about the future of this process in our city!

Here are the percentages of voting by District:

  • District 1 – 20% of voters
  • District 2 – 27% of voters
  • District 3 – 11% of voters
  • District 4 – 29% of voters
  • District 5 – 12% of voters

PB Voting Results

The following projects are listed by Title, Estimated Cost, Votes.
For more information on the following projects, please visit

District 1 – Total $95,000

  • Bus Shelter at Glendale and Randleman, $11,000, 119
  • Crosswalk at Vandalia and Randleman, $20,000, 113
  • Bus Tracking Mobile Application, $18,000, 100
  • Traffic Turn Lane Randleman and Glendale, $12,000, 98
  • Updated Equipment in Woodlea Acres Park, $8,000, 90
  • Bus Shelter at Lake Field & Vandalia, $11,000, 87
  • Shade Cloth Covers at Warnersville Pool, $15,000, 84

District 2 – Total $89,000

  • Crosswalk with Pedestrian Refuge Island for Safe Crossing of Phillips Ave., $6,000, 193
  • Bus Tracking Mobile Application, $18,000, 166
  • District 2 East-West Bikeway Improvements, $18,000, 145
  • Playprint Peeler Recreation Center, $7,000, 131
  • Shade Cloth Cover at Peeler Pool, $15,000, 129
  • Shade Cloth Cover at Windsor Pool, $15,000, 127
  • Greensboro Four Dudley Alumni Mural, $10,000, 124

District 3 – Total $98,000

  • District 3 Bike Lane Improvements, $30,000, 85
  • Bus Tracking Mobile Application, $18,000, 85
  • Latham Park Emergency Call Box, $10,000, 73
  • Crosswalk Lawndale & Lake Jeanette, $10,000, 64
  • Mural Bellemeade/Greene St Parking Deck, $30,000, 54

District 4 – Total $99,000

  • Bridge Repair at Greensboro Arboretum, $20,000, 205
  • Spring Garden & Howard Pedestrian Crosswalk, $20,000, 180
  • Walker Avenue Bridge Railing, $30,000, 165
  • Bus Tracking Mobile Application, $18,000, 165
  • Walker Avenue Painted Walkway, $5,000, 146
  • Crosswalk Elam & Camden, $6,000, 129

District 5 – Total $90,000

  • Historical Welcome to Greensboro Sign, $35,000, 92
  • Hester Park Emergency Call Box, $10,000, 85
  • Bus Tracking Mobile Application, $18,000, 71
  • Playprint Trotter Recreation Center, $7,000, 65
  • Weatherproof Stone Game Table, $20,000, 62

This weekend: Building Solidarity Economies in North Carolina through ReWeaving!

ReWeaving North Carolina

People from across North Carolina are headed to Greensboro this weekend for the ReWeaving NC conference. This event brings together people interested in building a new economy based on solidarity, cooperation, and sustainability.

ReWeaving North Carolina

Several staff of the Fund for Democratic Communities are presenting, along with our friends from PB Greensboro and the Renaissance Community Coop. It will be a great space to think and dream and plan together about the North Carolina we want, and have already begun, to build.

Continue reading This weekend: Building Solidarity Economies in North Carolina through ReWeaving!

Who is a city for?

Sign announcing teen curfew in downtown Greensboro
Sign announcing teen curfew in downtown Greensboro
Sign announcing teen curfew in downtown Greensboro

One thing I do a lot is think about urban planning, place-making, and public space. Something I do just as much is ask questions. So the question I’ve got on my mind as of late is:

“Who is a city for?”

Are cities meant for people? Are they meant for businesses? Are they meant for young people, or old people, or the wealthy, for houseless people, renters, recent immigrants, generational residents, artists, people of specific or varied racial identities, or any of the many different kinds of people?

Here in Greensboro we must ask ourselves this very question. Who is Greensboro made for? Who is it currently being made and envisioned for? Who is Greensboro? Part of the answer is connected to whom we ask this question, and who is allowed to answer.

We are in a critical place in the development of Greensboro’s identity, which will be formed and reformed whether intentionally, haphazardly, or with little consideration for all those it will affect.

Recently in Greensboro the city council voted to impose a curfew on people under the age of 18 when they are in the downtown of the city. This is an example of several things; the shaping of Greensboro’s identity without everyone’s input; of closing off the commons, an already scarce resource in Greensboro; and the permission for police profiling. This curfew answers the question of who this city is for, as it seems to indicate a lack of trust in young people. This is occurring at the same time that young people are championed as the “future”. The curfew is a tool to perpetuate the villainization of and in turn criminalization of youth, specifically black youth, brown youth and working class youth. Holding onto young people in this city is something that Greensboro claims it wants to do. But which young people do we want? Is it only young professionals, middle class folks, and mostly white folks that are valued and invested in, that the city is conceived for?

This curfew also runs the risk of creating a Greensboro brain drain. If young people aren’t allowed to participate in the use of a city, in the creation of a city, then it only makes sense that we’ll feel unwelcome and policed, and keep to certain parts of the city; parts of the city that aren’t being invested in the same way as downtown, lest we forget that the city is not confined to just the downtown. Or we leave the city all together and contribute our creativity, energy, and passion in other places where there is opportunity and where we are welcome and encouraged to create. This will inevitably affect the face of our city.

When thinking about who a city is for, it is critical that we understand that we all have a right to the city, both in its physical space, but also in its creation. So I challenge each of us to go further, to demand of the city, and enact in our daily lives what it would look like to draw young people in, to draw all sorts of people in to the conversation and creation of what we each want the city to look like. We’re all responsible, but as I said everyone has to be allowed to answer these questions, to have their voice heard, instead of being pushed out by such exclusive practices like the curfew. Greensboro, what will we do?