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Participatory Budgeting_ Urban Transformation_ and the Solidarity


									Participatory Budgeting:
principles, history, and cases
(Porto Alegre, Chicago)
          Dr. Michael Menser, Philosophy;
              Brooklyn College/CUNY;
        US/NYC Solidarity Economy Network
  Provost’s Task Force on City-based Sustainability
              BC Sustainability Council
 Board Member, Institute for Sustainable Cities/CUNY
Participatory Democracy (PD)
   Participatory democracy (PD) is that view of
    politics which calls for the creation and
    proliferation of practices and institutions that
    enable individuals and groups to better
    determine the conditions in which they act and
    relate to others.
   Individual are agents (not just persons with
    interests looking to be represented)
   Not limited to formal politics, but includes the
    economic and social/cultural dimensions.
Examples of PD
   Historical Examples: Medieval Cities, Iroquois
    Confederacy (League of 6 nations), New England
    Town Hall Meetings, SNCC, SDS, Global Justice
   Referenda (direct democracy)
   Criminal Trial Juries (chosen by lottery, consensus)
   Worker and consumer cooperatives’s
   Land trusts, credit unions
   Collective households, intentional communities
   Indymedia, Linux, Creative Commons
Participatory Budgeting Basics
   Participatory budgeting (PB): process in
    which community members decide how to
    spend part of a public budget.
   Types of budgets: municipal, capital,
    programs, also budgets of schools, housing
    projects and non-profit organizations
   “Right to City” approach: need based, social
   There are over 1,200 participatory budgets
    around the world (Worldwatch Institute).
   .
PB is a Multi-stage Process:
diagnosis, discussion, decision-making,
implementation, and monitoring.

   Residents assemble in neighborhood meetings to
    identify and prioritize local needs, and elect delegates
    for each community to the city-wide PB council.
   Delegates discuss the local priorities and develop
    concrete projects that address them, together with
    technical experts (engineers, etc).
   Delegates vote on which ones to fund.
   The government implements the chosen projects,
    and residents and delegates monitor implementation
    (park, school, garden, bus line, cleanup of site).
          Participatory Budgeting and Municipal Governance

PB1                       MAYOR'S OFFICE

       City Council                  Participatory Budgeting Council
                                    delegates are chosen by districts
                                   priorities are ranked by each district

      Political Parties                    Neighborhood Assembly
                                                   District 1
                                                 e.g. schools

                                           Neighborhood Assembly
         Lobbyists                                District 2
                                                e.g. gardens

                                           Neighborhood Assembly
                                                  District 3
                                               e.g. green jobs
From Menegat
Quantifiable Benefits of PB
   more equitable public spending, decreases
   higher quality of life, increased satisfaction of
    basic needs
   greater government transparency and
    accountability, decreases corruption
   increased levels of public participation
    (especially by marginalized residents)
   democratic and citizenship learning
Development of citizen
capacities for self-

   Educates citizens in how the budget
    process works
   Public speaking skills
   Distributes leadership, proliferates
   Participants determine decision making
    process and rules
Inspired the unorganized to
   Citizens have decisive, not just
    consultative power
   Number of delegates tied to number
    that shows up at neighborhood
   Privileges underserved and
Cultivated capacities for autonomy
and self-development utilized in non
PB activities.
   Housing cooperatives
   Solidarity economy
   Women’s movements
   Environmental movements
Menegat 2002

          PB, PD and Sustainability
                              Thematic assemblies
                              Environmental Atlas
                               of Porto Alegre
                              Compiles ecological
                               knowledge that is
                               useful for residents,
                               businesses, Ngo’s at
                               local and citywide
                               levels (e.g. species
                               locations, waterflow)
                              Written for high
Keys to PB’s Launch and Success in POA
   Mayor’s office made it happen
   Worker’s Party (PT) supported it, had
    link to community groups
   Fiscal crisis opened up opportunity
   Political parties stay out
   Participants view it as worth
    participating: decisive power, clear
Since when and now where?

   PB began at the end of the 80’s, in Brazil, when democracy was
    reinstalled in the country.
   Phases:
    I: Experimentation. 1989 - 1996
    II: Expansion in Brazil. 1997 - 2000
    III: Diversification in Latin America. 2001-2005
    IV: International Awareness. 2003 – 2005
   Most experiences are still in Brazil, but many other Latin
    American cities have adopted PB in the last 5 years.
   Currently, cities from Europe, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe
    are exercising PB.
    Experimentation       Expansion in Brazil     Diversification in
                                                   Latin America

                                   1997                   2000
          1989           Recife, Brazil         V. El Salvador, Peru
Porto Alegre, Brazil     Alvorada, Brazil       Ilo, Peru
                         Caxias do Sud, Bra.
Santo André, Brazil      Belem, Brazil                  2001
                         Icapui, Brazil         D.Cuahutemoc, Mex.
                         Mundo Novo, Brazil     Cuenca, Ecuador
Montevideo, Uruguay               1998                   2002
                         Juiz de Fora,Brazil    Cotacachi, Ecuador
                                                Rosario, Argentina,
                                2001            Puerto Asis, Colombia
Belo Horizonte, Brazil   Camphinas, Brazil      Buenos Aires, Arg.
PB in US: Chicago
   Alderman Joe Moore, Chicago, 49th
   Turning over his discretionary funds
    (“menu money”), 1 million for fiscal year
    2009/10--to a PB process (in NYC each
    City Council member received $350,000
Chi-town PB

   Last spring, Alderman Moore brought together
    leaders of over 50 civic, religious and community
    organizations, asked each to appoint one or two
    representatives from their organizations to serve on a
    steering committee to design a participatory
    budgeting process for the 49th Ward. (committee
    was chaired by Jamiko Rose , Executive Director of
    the Organization of the Northeast)
   Steering Committee developed three-step process
    and timetable that will culminate in a ward-wide
    meeting next spring when the entire community will
    deliberate and vote on the 49th Ward infrastructure
    spending priorities for 2010.
Step 1--Neighborhood Assembly
Meetings (Nov and Dec 2009)
   The ward will be organized into eight sections or
    areas, with a "neighborhood assembly" held in each
    area. (Also, a Spanish language assembly).
   Neighborhood assemblies will be open to any 49th
    Ward resident.
   Residents will receive info and brainstorm.
   At the conclusion, "community representatives" will
    be elected; they will be charged with developing
    proposals for infrastructure menu allocation.
Step 2--Community Representative
Meetings (December-February 2010)
   The community representatives will
    meet to develop proposals for use of the
    infrastructure menu money to be
    presented at a ward-wide assembly in
    the spring. The representatives, at their
    discretion, may call additional
    neighborhood assembly meetings to
    solicit additional suggestions and
    bounce off ideas.
Step 3,Ward-Wide Assembly Meeting

 Final step of the process, community
 residents will gather at a ward-wide
 assembly to deliberate and vote on the
 2010 infrastructure spending priorities
 for the 49th Ward.
   (some slides and quotes were taken
    from materials available there)

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