It All Started in A Kitchen: Otonabee Ward PB

By Kim Zippel –

It all started in a kitchen…

Six women showed up with sweet treats and ideas to share. The impetus behind the gathering was a participatory budgeting (PB) orientation session given by the City of Peterborough three days prior.

Five women gather around a kitchen table.
It all started in a kitchen with six women, from different areas of Otonabee Ward, coming together to create an invitation that would bring residents out to the first ward brainstorming session.

We six had decided to rise to the challenge of getting our neighbours, in all corners of Otonabee Ward, out to the first PB meeting because a rare opportunity is upon us. 

As a ward, we have been given $20,000 of discretionary tax dollars, and it is up to us, the citizens of each ward, to prioritize how and where the money will be spent.

The really neat thing about the meeting in my kitchen was that it immediately became a model of what we imagine the PB process can be. 

First off, the immense potential in the room was immediately obvious. After getting to know each other for a few minutes, the ideas just erupted, and before you knew it we had created a Facebook page, and a poster with a QR code linking to that Facebook page. We took photos and did a first post, shared skills, and mentored each other through the technology hurdles. I have never been part of a team that worked so effectively and so effortlessly!

Poster advertising the first ward brainstorming session to be held at 6:30 on Thursday, February 25, 2016, at the Canadian Canoe Museum.
Otonabee Ward PB poster advertising the first gathering at the Canoe Museum.


Now just imagine that the Canadian Canoe Museum is my kitchen, and people from all over the ward answer the invitation to come out, meet their neighbours and share project ideas. Women, men, children – all ages and backgrounds – collaborating and building on each other’s ideas. This isn’t a dream, it’s a real opportunity that we can make the most of.

Come out to the first PB meeting at the Canadian Canoe Museum.

When: Thursday, February 25, 2016
Time: 6:30 to 8:30

And when you tweet use the #OtonabeePB

Click on the ‪#‎OtonabeePB‬ to connect and share on Facebook.

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