The results are in for Durham’s participatory budgeting initiative, an experiment in direct democracy in which more than ten thousand residents voted throughout May on how to spend $2.4 million of city money. The city’s three wards got an equal share of the pot, $800,000 each. 

The biggest winner in all three city wards: projectors for Durham schools, which will receive about $405,000, split across all three wards. The schools listed on the ballot were Northern High, Brogden Middle School, Carrington Middle School, Lucas Middle School, and Neal Magnet Middle. Other citywide projects that will receive funds are an LGBTQ Youth Center ($113,400) and bus shelters with reclaimed art and solar panels ($396,000). 

Here are all of the other projects that received funding: 

None of the three wards spent all of its allotted money in this cycle; the remainders will be rolled over into the next cycle, which will occur in the fall of 2020, says project budget coordinator Robin Baker. 

This fall, the city will assemble a team of residents to oversee the projects and release a report on their projected timelines. The city hopes to implement at least 50 percent of the winning projects within the first fiscal year. 

Comment on this story at

Support independent local journalism. Join the INDY Press Club to help us keep fearless watchdog reporting and essential arts and culture coverage viable in the Triangle.