Participate Online: Building the Budget from Zero

HappyLadyUsingSurfaceMayor Sam Liccardo and the San José City Council, in partnership with the Every Voice Engaged Foundation and Conteneo Inc., invite San José residents to participate online in a citywide participatory budgeting event during the week of February 22, 2016.

The hour-long online “zero-based” budgeting sessions, will provide residents with an opportunity to get involved in their government and community and impact the city budget.

How do I participate? 

Starting with a budget of $63,600,000, residents will be able to log onto hourly online sessions from 8 AM to 8 PM, February 22-26, 2016, and reallocate funding for 30 city programs, including such line items as graffiti abatement, parks and urban renewal and more. You can also preview the 30 city programs and their current funding level here: 2016-2017 Budget Engagement Exercise (PDF Download).

You can participate in collaborative forums with your fellow residents from your computer.


By request from the Mayor’s Office, residents will be asked to authenticate their email address so that we can help the City capture the highest quality data possible.

Collaborative Forums

Collaborative Forums start every hour – like a shuttle bus leaving for the airport from a hotel. So, find a time that works for you, and join the forum. Once you click on the link you’ll join the lobby – the waiting area before the forum begins. Questions? Contact Us.


Technical Requirements & Platform Help:

  • Participants will need access to a modern Web browser such as Chrome or Firefox via a laptop or desktop computer.
  • No voice or video needed.
  • Participants will be required to authenticate their email addresses to participate.

In the Decision Engine forum you will be presented with a list of City programs. Each program DecisionEngineLight copywill have a name, description, and overview of its benefits and the current amount of funding for the program. You will also assigned a portion of the city budget to “reallocate” funding based on your priorities. In multi-participant forums, you will collaborate with your fellow residents, pooling your money to fund the most important programs. Note that you can always change your bids at any time, even after a program is funded.

When you’re negotiating, try to explain to others in your forum why you think a particular program will have a positive impact of the community.

You can learn more about each program by placing your mouse over the name of the program or tapping the program if you’re using a tablet. A tool tip will provide additional information. Additionally, the Items tab at the top provides a list of all the programs available in the forum.