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Even Dems alarmed as illegal aliens, 11-year-olds allowed to vote on some Boston expenditures
Photo by Tanner Pearson/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Even Dems alarmed as illegal aliens, 11-year-olds allowed to vote on some Boston expenditures

'Tone-deaf, unserious, and wholly inappropriate.'

A new program in Boston will allow illegal aliens and kids as young as 11 to have a say on the way that the city spends millions of dollars.

In 2021, Bostonians voted to approve the establishment of the Office of Participatory Budgeting, and participatory budgeting means exactly what it says: giving voters the opportunity to participate in the way a portion of the city's budget is spent.

'Her decision-making is becoming as juvenile as this latest stunt.'

This year, as part of far-left Democrat Mayor Michelle Wu's fiscal year 2025 budget proposal, that office's purpose will finally be put into practice.

By September, Wu and her team will compile a list of 15 community projects. Then in January, voters will select — either online or in person — five of them to receive a portion of the $2 million allotted for OPB spending. Though $2 million sounds like a lot of money, it's actually just a tiny fraction of the city's overall budget, which in 2024 was more than $4.2 billion.

The concept of participatory budgeting began in Brazil more than three decades ago, but in Boston, it began as the result of a "youth-led participatory budgeting initiative," the Boston OPB website states. True to those roots, all Boston residents at least 11 years old will be able to participate in the OPB vote in January.

Allowing children still five years away from a driver's license to help determine city expenditures may be alarming, but at least many of those kids are U.S. citizens. Even worse, illegal aliens will also be able to participate in Boston's participatory budgeting as well, the New York Post reported, perhaps to help satisfy the OPB's mission to help "achiev[e] and embed[] equity and inclusion into City practices."

The voting process for participatory budgeting in Boston has become such a circus that even some high-profile Democrat leaders have expressed misgivings. Notably, City Councilman Ed Flynn expressed "unequivocal and vehement opposition to the voting process," claiming his constituents would view "allowing children to decide the usage of taxpayer dollars" as "tone-deaf, unserious, and wholly inappropriate."

"During this time of great fiscal uncertainty — with a study warning that remote work policies and the city’s declining commercial property values may cost us $500 million in revenue annually, as well as a subsequent proposal to also tax commercial property at a higher rate — now more than ever, it is critical that we show the taxpayers of Boston that we take our financial responsibilities seriously," Flynn wrote in a letter to OPB director Renato Castelo.

Others on the city council agreed with Flynn but perhaps for different reasons. Democrat Councilor Erin Murphy voiced concerns about the process, the Union-Bulletin reported, though the outlet did not identify Murphy's objections.

Councilor John FitzGerald, who does not mention a party affiliation on either his city bio or his campaign website, worries that participatory budgeting gives residents a greater say over spending than the city council.

Paul Craney of the Massachusetts Fiscal Alliance finds the whole idea absurd. "Mayor Wu will try almost anything to make a news headline and get attention, even capitulate her responsibilities as mayor and designate children and non-citizens to make budgetary decisions with our tax dollars," Craney told Blaze News.

"Her decision-making is becoming as juvenile as this latest stunt."

Democrat Councilor Liz Breadon, however, is much more optimistic about giving young people voting power. "I really do think this is a huge opportunity to develop civic engagement," Breadon said. "I do hope that it will lead to a more engaged citizenry going forward."

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Cortney Weil

Cortney Weil

Sr. Editor, News

Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@cortneyweil →