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The Participatory Budgeting Project

Are you interested in real world solutions to the budget crises we face?

Do you want to learn about a new approach to democracy being implemented NOW in over 1000 cities world wide including places like New York City and Chicago?

Would you like to learn how the Goldman School of Public Policy, in partnership with faculty and students from across the Berkeley campus, will be involved in “PB Vallejo” — the first city-wide Participatory Budgeting (PB) process in the US—in which residents directly decide how to spend taxpayer money?

Please join Dean Henry Brady and the Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement at the Goldman School of Public Policy on Thursday, September 6th, 6pm, Room 250, for a presentation and discussion about the exciting PB movement underway. We will be joined by Josh Lerner and Pam Jennings from The Participatory Budgeting Project who will tell us about participatory budgeting, its challenges and successes, and the details about Vallejo's program launching next month. Learn about student research opportunities and other ways you can get involved.

Refreshments will be provided. Hope you can join us! Please RSVP to gsppdean@berkeley.edu by September 4th.

More About the Speakers:

The Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP) is a non-profit organization that helps communities decide how to spend public money. It works with governments and organizations to develop participatory budgeting processes, in which local people directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.

Josh Lerner is the Executive Director of PBP. He completed a PhD in Politics at the New School for Social Research and a Masters in Planning from the University of Toronto. Since 2003, he has researched and worked with PB processes in the US, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, Guatemala, Spain, and the UK. He has advised organizations and institutions ranging from the Right to the City Alliance to Toronto Community Housing to the Municipality of Rosario (Argentina), and he served as lead technical adviser for the first two PB processes in the US. He has published in venues such as The Christian Science Monitor, The National Civic Review, The Good Society, YES! Magazine, Shelterforce, and the Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management.

Pam Jennings is a Project Coordinator with PBP. She holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from the University of Rhode Island, where she began her study of PB in 2009. During that time, she served on a research team at Brown University that traced the trajectory of PB around the world. She has experience as a community organizer, a Spanish teacher, and as a translator in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She has served as a facilitator and organizer with the PB District Committee in New York’s 39th Council District, where she lives.

For more information visit the Participatory Budgeting Project website http://www.participatorybudgeting.org/

More on Participatory Budgeting:

Participatory budgeting is a democratic process where community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Hundreds of municipalities all over the world have used this process to open up decision-making on municipal budgets to community stakeholders. It is an important tool to create more participation in proposal development, transparency of budget allocation, and to get resources to communities whose voices often go unheard and that are significantly under-served by budgets, especially in times of budget cuts.

More Information:

ARTICLE - “Putting in their 2 Cents: For Some New Yorkers, A Grand Experiment in Participatory Budgeting” (NY Times)

VIDEO - PBS Need to Know: Participatory Budgeting

WEBSITE - Participatory Budgeting in New York City

ARTICLE - “Government can't solve budget battles? Let citizens do it.” (Christian Science Monitor)

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