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Our Mission

The mission of Hartford Decide$ is to build an inclusive culture of community engagement in Hartford that strengthens social trust through a process of direct decision-making on a portion of the city's capital budget.

Our History & Activities


In early 2015, the City of Hartford and civic organizations formed a partnership to launch Participatory Budgeting (PB) in Hartford, the first such initiative in Connecticut. 

Named Hartford Decide$, this process has engaged thousands of community members in:

  • brainstorming sessions, 

  • the development of proposals for capital improvements in the city, and

  • public votes to determine which proposals will receive funding from the City of Hartford.

Solar Operations

Winning proposals have been awarded over $1 million over  election cycles, resulting in projects, located throughout the city, that beautify, inspire, and foster new connections.

Hartford Decide$ is now an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Funds awarded by the City of Hartford go directly to (and only to) the implementation of winning project proposals. The operations of Hartford Decide$ are funded through grants from the sponsors shown below, as well as from donations by board directors and community members.

Our Principles


Foster, in individuals and neighborhoods, a sense of belonging to Hartford as a whole.


Promote the sharing of perspectives and knowledge in order to collectively build ideas that connect community needs and challenges with community assets and aspirations.


Include people of all races, ethnicities, abilities, incomes, backgrounds, ages, genders, and neighborhoods equitably in Hartford Decide$.


Share information and make decisions about Hartford Decide$ as openly as possible.


Encourage neighborhoods, businesses, and community organizations to work together.


Help Hartford residents to make decisions on the use of City capital funds set aside for Hartford Decide$ projects​

Civic Engagement

Increase participation by Hartford residents, especially those who have not previously been involved in the civic life of the community.

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