The team’s research sought to uncover how to create a more participatory, justice-centered budgeting process for Washtenaw County. Their final presentation summarizes these findings in a way that’s accessible to citizens looking to become engaged around this issue.
The team focused on 1) current county budget processes and 2) best practices for implementing participatory budgeting. They found that while change tends to be incremental, there are signs that trying to create more opportunities to change the budgeting process is viable. If those changes come in the form of participatory budgeting, it will be crucial to involve officials early in the process and develop pilot programs to build trust within the constituent communities. More work remains to be done to make participatory budgeting a reality in Washtenaw County and future efforts should continue to focus on bringing in stakeholders at all levels to create more inclusive participatory budgeting processes.