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Mayor announces results of the nation’s first-ever youth participatory budgeting initiative


Last week, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the winning projects of the ‘Youth Lead the Change’, participatory budget initiative. Young people from across the City were instructed, by the Mayor’s Youth Council and other supportive partners, how to create guidelines from the voting process, and develop a ballot, which included 14 projects.

Voting polls were stationed at local train stations, youth centers, and school buildings slated for a city-wide vote, and youth determined how to spend $1 million of Boston’s capital budget. Over 1,500 eligible votes came in from Boston residents between the ages of 12 and 25.

“The winning projects will make positive and meaningful change in the lives of Boston residents throughout the City,” Walsh said. “The City budget is not taken lightly, and these young people were dedicated and passionate, becoming a driving force in the way our community process is run.”

Voters were able to select up to four projects on the ballot. Projects were divided into the following categories:

  • Streets and Safety
  • Parks/Environment/Health
  • Community and Culture
  • Education

“This process engaged youth throughout the City to develop proposals that will offer great benefits to communities across Boston,” said Chief of Health and Human Services, Felix Arroyo. “The voices of our youth were heard, and I am really excited to see more change agents get involved with Youth Lead the Change.”

The winning projects included:

  • Franklin Park playground and picnic area upgrade
  • Boston art walls
  • Chromebooks for high schools in East Boston, South Boston, and Charlestown
  • Skate park feasibility study
  • Security cameras for Dr. Loesch Family Park
  • Paris Street Playground extreme makeover
  • New sidewalks for new parks

Youth Lead the Change will launch its second year in September with a call for steering committee members. To learn more about Youth Lead the Change, visit or contact the Department of Youth Engagement and Employment at 617-635-4202. To see a full listing of all the proposed projects, visit