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Page last updated on March 7, 2022 at 2:24 pm

What is Youth Participatory Budgeting?

Youth Participatory Budgeting (YPB) is a democratic process in which young community members decide how to spend part of a municipal budget. Participatory budgeting has been shown to spark an interest among young people in the system and ideals of democracy and to increase the likelihood of their future engagement with local government. The City of Bloomington has allocated $15,000 within the 2022 budget to the YPB initiative. YPB gives the youth of Monroe County real power to make real decisions over real money.


How Does YPB Work?

  1. Design Process
  1. Assemble a Steering Committee that is representative of the community and includes members from underserved areas
  2. Write the rules and develop guidelines to solidify the process
  3. Develop a timeline and work plan for each stage of the process
  4. Recruit delegates to help collect ideas and develop proposals 
  1. Collect Ideas: During this phase, the Steering Committee and Delegates collect initial ideas for community improvements or projects from Bloomington residents.
  2. Develop Proposals: The Steering Committee and Delegates develop project proposal from ideas submitted by youth. The Steering Committee turns developed project proposals into a ballot for the public to vote on.
  1. Vote

a. Preliminary Vote: Community member in grades 7-12 vote on all feasible ideas 

b. Final Vote: Community members in grades 7-12 vote on the top 5 projects from the ballot that they would like funded. Delegates tally the votes to find which project won overall.

  1. Fund the winning proposal: Once the winning project has been identified, youth, City departments, and other stakeholder organizations work together to implement the winning project(s). 


Goals and principles can stay the same as current website


2022 Timeline 

January – Develop steering committee and rulebook, recruit delegates
February – Delegate orientation, marketing & collecting ideas
March – Mini proposals, preliminary vote, research & detailed proposals for top 10 ideas
April – Meet with stakeholders, top 5 ideas chosen
May – Final vote, decision, and announcement
June – Implementation & evaluations


Who Can Submit Ideas

  • Anyone is welcome to submit a project idea who attends a Monroe County school and will be in grades 7-12.
  • All ideas will be submitted online via an online form with criteria set forth by the Steering Committee.
  • Ideas for proposals will be collected starting in February, 2022


Qualifying ideas Must:

  • Be completed within the $15,000 budget
  • Benefit the general public
  • Fall under one of the following categories:
    • Arts/Culture
    • Education
    • Environment
    • Recreation
    • Social Concerns
    • Other
  • Funds can not be used to:
    • Fund salaries
    • Fund any for-profit organizations
    • Fund the lobbying of the City of Bloomington, or Monroe County, either directly, or through an organization.
    • If donated to an organization, the funds must be earmarked for a specific purpose that will benefit the community at large
  • Funds must be used in Monroe County and benefit the people of Bloomington


YPB Proposals:
Coming soon!

YPB Voting:

Who can vote?:

Community members in grades 7-12 from the following schools, as well community members in grades 7-12 who are homeschooled, are eligible to vote: 

  • Academy of Science and Entrepreneurship
  • Bloomington Graduation School
  • Bloomington North
  • Bloomington South
  • Batchelor
  • Jackson Creek
  • Tri-North
  • Project School
  • Harmony
  • St. Benedict 
  • St. Charles
  • Lighthouse 
  • Homeschools


How to vote:

Qualifying students will vote online at

Steering Committee Members:

  • Sam Fischman
  • Ezgi Kadi
  • Aspen Siek
  • Herman Geier
  • Isa Muhammad
  • Jack Streiner