Participatory Budgeting

Democratic control of public budget processes.

[Editor's note: this spring, Boston will play host to the 4th International Conference on Participatory Budgeting In North America. This article from our archives (originally published in 2004) looks at the history of participatory budgeting in Brazil, and considers it's potential in the US, where the practice in now thriving in cities across the country.]

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By Alexander Kolokotronis

(please take survey at conclusion of this piece)

Cooperativists often posit this: the cooperative movement is a movement of movements. Or, more broadly speaking, the solidarity economy movement is a movement of movements. Many of us believe this is true in the present. In many ways it is.

Tall luxury condominiums, new restaurants, coffee shops, and health food stores now punctuate most of the neighborhoods in the District of Columbia, bringing (what some consider) prosperity the likes of which the one-time "Chocolate City" has never before witnessed.

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[Editor's note: In this presentation from The Sustainable Economies Law Center's 5th Annual Fall Celebration, SELC's staff presents a comprehensive vision of a Cooperative Economic future and, more importantly, lays out concrete steps that can be taken in order to arrive there.  As an additional bonus, the presentation is creative and entertaining.  Enjoy!  (The show starts at 1:50 and runs until 35:52)]

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This May, Baltimore played host to an Economic Democracy Conference, organized by It's Our Economy.  We've rounded-up coverage  from across the web so you can read reports from the conference, listen to conference organizers and watch video of conference sessions--all in one place.  If you couldn't make it to the conference, this round-up is the next best thing!

Here's a report from It's Our Economy:

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a struggle for participatory budgeting in the largely agrarian municipality of Torres (population 197,000) in the central-western Venezuelan state of Lara
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Four NYC Council members, each with $1 Million, will let public decide how it's spent
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By Josh Lerner
Originally published by the Movement Vision Lab.

 

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