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Upcoming CommunityMatters call on Participatory Budgeting

Update:  Registration for this call is now open at https://www.orton.org/civicrm/event/info?id=62 (sign up soon, as our last couple of CM calls have had to be capped!)

Our friends at CommunityMatters — a partnership of seven leading organizations in the fields of community building and deliberative democracy (including NCDD!) — would like to invite all interested NCDD members to participate in a conference call on Participatory Budgeting on Valentine’s Day (Feb 14th) from 4-5pm Eastern.  This installment of the CommunityMatters conference call series will feature insights from two experienced guest presenters: Josh Lerner, executive director of The Participatory Budget Project (with which our very own Sandy Heierbacher is involved as an advisory board member), and Councilwoman Marti Brown, who is involved in a PB project in her city of Vallejo, California.

For more information on the conference call, check out the the CommunityMatters announcement at www.communitymatters.org/participatory-budgeting.  Keep an eye on the link for updates and more info.  You can also learn much more about participatory budgeting in the NCDD Resource Center (the “Participatory Budgeting” tag is a great place to start!).

If you’re not familiar with PB, here’s a quick description:

Participatory budgeting is a process of democratic deliberation and decision-making, and a type of participatory democracy, in which ordinary people decide how to allocate part of a municipal or public budget. Participatory budgeting allows citizens to identify, discuss, and prioritize public spending projects, and gives them the power to make real decisions about how money is spent.

Participatory budgeting generally involves several basic steps: 1) Community members identify spending priorities and select budget delegates 2) Budget delegates develop specific spending proposals, with help from experts 3) Community members vote on which proposals to fund 4) The city or institution implements the top proposals.

Various studies have suggested that participatory budgeting results in more equitable public spending, higher quality of life, increased satisfaction of basic needs, greater government transparency and accountability, increased levels of public participation (especially by marginalized or poorer residents), and democratic and citizenship learning.

The first full participatory budgeting process was developed in the city of Porto Alegre, Brazil, starting in 1989. Participatory budgeting was part of a number of innovative reform programs started in 1989 to overcome severe inequality in living standards amongst city residents. One third of the city’s residents lived in isolated slums at the city outskirts, lacking access to public amenities (water, sanitation, health care facilities, and schools).

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Roshan Bliss
An inclusiveness trainer and group process facilitator, Roshan Bliss serves as NCDD's Youth Engagement Coordinator and Blog Curator. Combining his belief that decisions are better when everyone is involved with his passion for empowering young people, his work focuses on increasing the involvement of youth and students in public conversations.

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  1. Registration is now up at https://www.orton.org/civicrm/event/info?id=62 — sign up to secure your spot today. Our last couple of CommunityMatters calls have had to be capped!

  2. Thanks for sharing! We’re looking forward to a great call. There is still space available for any last minute registrations.

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