Join our campaign
for a People's Budget!

Together we can decide how much money goes to potholes, housing, parks, libraries, and more!

Our ballot initiative creates more than 100 neighborhood assemblies across Oakland. Every month people will meet to discuss community issues and determine public priorities. Then once a year, we'll vote on how much money should go to each city department.

Read the Initiative

The full text of the initiative is available to read online, as a PDF, or as an audio file.


Not sure how our initiative would work? Check out frequently asked questions or watch a short explainer video.


Donate to CDP's all-volunteer campaign! Every dollar advances our goal of community empowerment through direct democracy.


The Community Democracy Project is an all-volunteer, grassroots campaign

Shawn McDougal


Shawn McDougal is an educator and change-maker who is committed to creating a more just and humane world. When he is not being a math professor or CDP co-director, he likes to ride his bike, dance, and gaze at beautiful skies.

Devo O'Rourke


Devo teaches math in community college. During the summer months, they work as a park ranger!

Tia Taruc-Myers


Tia graduated from Berkeley Law and founded the Alipato Project, a domestic violence resistance group that sues batterers. She is the Director of Legal Education at the Sustainable Economies Law Center. In her spare time, she reads radical picture books to preschoolers, plays chess at Alchemy Collective, and tries to convince people that participatory budgeting will save the world.

Chris Chew


Chris joined CDP’s Action Team in December 2017. He is a founding member of Cooperative 4 Community, a worker-owned signature gathering cooperative.

Kyle Donnelly


Kyle’s background in philosophy and the arts has led to a conviction that solidarity created by communities working together is the path to justice. He is a founding member of Cooperative 4 Community, a worker-owned signature gathering cooperative.

Victoria Yu


Victoria graduated with an MFA in creative writing for the same reason she joined CDP—because that’s where the money is (or should be). When she’s not copywriting at her job, she’s volunteering around SF and Oakland, reading, journaling, and searching for new productivity tools to play with.

Emily Peterson


Emily joined CDP mid-campaign to help us gather signatures!

Blake Hihara


Ellen Frieboes


Neil Thapar



CDP was founded in the fall of 2011, and has grown to include a diverse cross-section of Oakland residents, community leaders, and activists. Since then, we’ve done extensive street outreach, and heard from Oaklanders about the issues they care about, and what they would do if they were in charge of the city budget. It’s clear: Oakland residents are ready for real involvement in crucial decisions, and have enough creative solutions to fuel the city for generations.


2020 Yearbook

Hella People Power Organizing Over a period of six months in 2019, we collected nearly 45,000 signatures across the city from Oaklanders who understand the transformative potential of putting the budget in the hands of Read more…

Get in Touch

Our general meetings and events are open to the public! Send us a message or check our social media for upcoming events.

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