Friday, July 20, 2012

Sharing Power with Citizens Through Participatory Budgeting

In 2009, Chicago became the first US city to try participatory budgeting (PB). The idea started with Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1989 and has spread to over 3,000 cities globally. It encourages citizens to create ideas on how a portion of tax payer money should be spent.

PB is a multistage process that begins with gathering ideas from citizens. Those ideas range from improving transportation, parks, schools and public safety to cleaning up the environment. Next, a group of delegates is selected to winnow down the ideas into a few projects that have a reasonable chance of being implemented. Finally, the best plans are placed on a ballot and citizens vote for their favorites.”

Reference: Newcombe, Tod, Chicago Brings Participatory Budgeting to the U.S., Governing, July 2012
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