Kraig Cook

Kraig Cook

Participatory Budgeting Program Coordinator, City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods

Kraig Cook joined the City of Seattle’s Department of Neighborhoods as the Participatory Budgeting Program Coordinator in March 2017. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, he previously spent time working on immigrant-inclusive policies and programs for the cities of New York and San Francisco. Kraig is excited by the possibility of participatory budgeting as a method for government to meet people where they are and to become more responsive and accountable to historically under-engaged communities. In Seattle, he is working on building a program that is data-informed and uses technology effectively while remaining centered on people and their connections to each other and the city. Kraig also enjoys outdoor adventures, exploring neighborhoods and spending time with his adorable nieces and nephews.

Why do you believe innovations in participatory democracy are important?

Democracy is only as strong as the voices that are heard when decisions are being made. We must innovate to not only increase the volume of these voices but ensure we are hearing more from those who have been previously excluded from the conversation: people of color, women, people living with disabilities, LGBTQ folks, immigrants/refugees and so many more.

 

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

I hope to participate in conversations about how innovations in participatory democracy can take on a racial equity lens while continuing to build broad support from communities.