Participatory Budgeting Starts at Home
The Alliance has come into some unexpected funds recently. We’ve gotten an anonymous contribution of $10,000. Holy cow! Another $1,300, so far, has come from the estate of Janet Goloub and considerably more is expected. We thank them humbly. To honor their gifts, we’d like to use these funds in the best ways we can. We think it’s a grand opportunity to try out participatory budgeting.
Participatory budgeting, applied to the Alliance, would mean soliciting proposals from all Alliance endorsers, discussing the proposals (we have several discussion media at our disposal), and then have Alliance endorsers vote on them. The participatory process should enable us to make wise use of the funds at our disposal.
And it couldn’t come at a more opportune time. The Alliance is getting back to its roots – and its Bylaws, which puts decision-making into the hands of Alliance members, that is, individual and organizational endorsers of our Vision-Mission-Goals statement (Bylaws of 1/11/2005, Article III, Section 1). The Bylaws flat out says:
“Any member in good standing may attend any Alliance meeting and participate in decisions at the Annual Meeting or any of the regular meetings held for the purpose of making decisions on proposed Alliance actions. Members [i.e., endorsers] are responsible for attending and participating in these decision-making meetings . . .”
The “Alliance” part of our name was to be a clear indication of this intent, that we are to be an alliance of many organizations and individuals.
The primary question the Alliance is addressing at this juncture is how to make the Alliance into the unifying, grassroots organization originally envisioned. How can we better engage, empower, and enable individuals and organizations to be participants in the alliance function of the Alliance?
To get in on the Participatory Budgeting process and other decision-making involvement in Alliance doings:
1) Attend the upcoming:
Alliance Steering Committee meeting
Monday – August 3, 2015 – 6:30-8:45pm
at Moravian College, Priscilla Payne Hurd
Academic Complex (PPHAC), Room 117
In addition to PB, we’ll be moving ahead on Community Bills of Rights work and discussing the work of the Beyond Capitalism Working Group, Food Policy Coalition, Impact Hub, Transitions U, and other collaborative structures for enabling, engaging, and empowering organizations, individuals, and communities to work together effectively.
Literature available for free to attendees:
- Josh Lerner, Everyone Counts: Could ‘Participatory Budgeting’ Change Democracy?
- CELDF’s new publication On Community Civil Disobedience in the Name of Sustainability: The Community Rights Movement in the United States
- CELDF’s Commonsense: Community Rights Organizing
2) Ask us to send you an invitation to join the Sustainability Commons:
The Sustainability Commons is a virtual workspace for individuals, organizations, and informal groups to connect, discuss, collaborate, and share on all sorts of sustainability-related topics and projects. Its system of online communities (i.e., working groups) deal with the multiple aspects of sustainable communities. You can even join the Alliance Steering Committee community to engage in Steering Committee matters!
3) Send an email to the Alliance Steering Committee:
4) or set up a meeting with us to discuss your concerns: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comments welcome!!! You can contact us at:
Martin Boksenbaum, sustainability doings editor