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Everyone CountsCould "Participatory Budgeting" Change Democracy?$
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Josh Lerner

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780801456657

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801456657.001.0001

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Importing Democracy from Brazil

Importing Democracy from Brazil

(p.10) Importing Democracy from Brazil
Everyone Counts

Josh Lerner

Cornell University Press

This chapter talks about how a small but growing group of advocates worked to bring participatory budgeting (PB) to the US. They initially associated with Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Mike Menser at the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre. Baiocchi was a Brazilian transplant to the US, while Menser was a philosophy professor, union organizer, and fan of urban agriculture and economic democracy. In 2009, the group launched the first PB process in the US. Through public talks, they met with Joe Moore, a member of the city council, who took interest in PB but remained doubtful of its success in Chicago without the mayor's support. However, after it occurred to him that he had direct authority over a modest pot of money, Moore decided to launch the first US experiment in PB-style democracy as a means of reengaging his frustrated constituents.

Keywords:   participatory budgeting, Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Mike Menser, Brazil, economic democracy, US PB process, Joe Moore

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