Amy Nguyen

Amy Nguyen

Community Programs Strategic Advisor, Your Voice, Your Choice

Amy is the Community Programs Strategic Advisor for Your Voice, Your Choice, a participatory budgeting program with the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. In her work, she strives to center communities of color and other underrepresented groups within government and budget processes.
Her experience in policy analysis, nonprofit management and community organizing spans New York City, New Orleans and Seattle.

Prior to joining the Dept. of Neighborhoods, Amy worked as a Legislative Aide for Seattle City Council advising on policy issues related to planning, land use, parks, utilities, immigration and civil rights. In the past, she has managed delivery of the free statewide legal hotline for the Louisiana Civil Justice Center in New Orleans and worked as the Project Manager for the Emmy award winning documentary, Herman’s House that looked at solitary confinement, race and the meaning of livable spaces. Amy received a Master’s degree in Urban Policy and an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies from the New School in New York. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Asian Pacific Islander Americans for Civic Empowerment (APACE). Amy loves hand pulled noodles, Octavia Butler and videos of red pandas.

Why do you believe innovations in participatory democracy are important?

As administrators, I believe we must constantly innovate our practices to stay responsive to the diverse communities we engage. The power of participatory democracy is in challenging traditional modes of decision-making by centering the voices of individuals and communities that have not historically been involved in government or budget processes. This is imperative to understanding how participatory budgeting can be leveraged as a tool to address inequities and engage race and social justice in our outcomes.


What do you hope to see at the 2018 Innovations in Participatory Democracy Conference?

I hope to see lively exchange across participatory budgeting practitioners. I am excited to learn about other programs and see how they vary structurally depending upon social, political, geographic, cultural and place specific considerations.