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Shari Davis: What If You Could Decide How The Government Spends Public Funds?

Part 1 of TED Radio Hour episode The Public Commons

Public places don't always fully meet the needs of a community. Shari Davis explains how participatory budgeting can give us all a voice in creating safer and more equitable public spaces.

About Shari Davis

Shari Davis is a community organizer and youth advocate. They are the co-executive director of the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), an organization that empowers everyday citizens with the ability to directly manage public money.

Davis first became involved in city government in high school, serving as the Citywide Neighborhood Safety Coordinator on the Boston Mayor's Youth Council and working at the Mayor's Youthline.

As director of youth engagement and employment for the City of Boston, they launched Youth Lead the Change, the first youth participatory budgeting process in the U.S., which won the U.S. Conference of Mayors' City Livability Award. In 2019, Davis was honored with an Obama Foundation Fellowship for their work on participatory budgeting.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by Katie Monteleone and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Facebook @TEDRadioHour and email us at

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Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
Katie Monteleone is a producer for TED Radio Hour. She started out as an intern for the show in January 2019. After her internship, Monteleone began producing for Life Kit before returning to the TED Radio Hour team in October 2019 as a full-time producer.