Frequently Asked Questions

What is Hartford Decide$?

  • Hartford Decide$ is the very first Participatory Budgeting Program in Hartford AND the first in the state of Connecticut.
  • Members of the community brainstorm ideas for projects that will improve Hartford neighborhoods and/or the community at large.
  • Those ideas are developed into project proposals.
  • Proposals are put to citywide vote.
  • Project winners get funding from the Capital Improvements Fund set aside by the City of Hartford.

How did Hartford Decide$ begin?

  • Hartford 2000 was inspired to bring Participatory Budgeting to Hartford after seeing it utilized in other major cities around the U.S.
  • Hartford 2000, in partnership with Hartford Public Library, the City of Hartford, Leadership Greater Hartford and the Metro Hartford Alliance introduced Participatory Budgeting to the City Council in March.
  • The five founding partners named the Hartford participatory budgeting organization/initiative Hartford Decide$.
  • A Steering Committee was assembled to oversee the process.
  • The Steering Committee formed subcommittees to execute the Participatory Budgeting process. 

How is the Hartford Decide$ process funded?

  • The City of Hartford set aside Capital Improvement Project Funds to implement the projects in the FY 2017.
  • The funds will be used to implement the winning projects only. Funds will NOT be used to support the process.
  • Hartford Decide$ has secured grant funds to implement the Participatory Budgeting process.​​ 

What is the history of Participatory Budgeting?

  • Participatory Budgeting originated in Brazil in 1989.
  • Since then, it has been used in South America, Europe, and the United States.
  • New York and Cambridge have also used it.

To watch a video about the Participatory Budgeting Project click here .

Who makes up the Steering Committee?

The Steering Committee is made up of :
  • Five partners (Hartford 2000, the City of Hartford, the Hartford Public Library, Leadership Greater Hartford & the MetroHartford Alliance)
  • ​14 Neighborhood Revitalization Zone (NRZ) representatives 
  • 10 "at large" Hartford community memebers​

How were the 10 "at large" Steering Committee members chosen?

All at large steering committee members submitted applications and were chosen by the five partner organizations in attempt to provide the most diverse group candidates possible, in terms of:
  • Skills
  • Interests 
  • Experience 
  • Geography
  • Race/Ethnicity
  • and other demographics

What are Capital Improvement Project Funds and what can they be used for?

  • Capital improvements are the addition of a structural change and/or tangible asset to existing public land or space.
  • Capital improvement projects are undertaken to aquire capital assets and are differentiated from ordinary repairs or maintenance of a recurring nature. 
  • Examples include:
            Land purchase
            Construction or major improvements to public facilities
            Road construction
            Purchase of large equipment

Who can propose ideas?

​Any  Hartford  community member, business owner, or resident 13 years of age and older may submit project ideas for Hartford Decide$.

Who can vote?

  • Although any members of the Hartford community can submit ideas, only Hartford residents can actually place a vote.
  • Any Hartford resident 13 years of age or older may vote regardless of citizenship status.