new orleans prison expansion?

01/08/2011 § Leave a comment

via dave jenkins by our folks at critical resistance.  the video captures the attempt in new orleans to expand prison beds ($250 million tag), while core social services remain devastatingly underfunded.  this model of investing in repression while letting core community infrastructure rot out feels acutely egregious, but is actually emblematic of this country’s direction for the last 40 years.  we have the case for participatory budgeting and prison abolition rolled into one.

participatory budgeting in chicago!

04/20/2010 § Leave a comment

i introduced the history and impact of participatory budgeting (PB) earlier.

this post is on the first successful PB process in the US, completed in the 49th ward of chicago led by its alderman, joe moore.  i talked to the PB coordinator last week, and she was ecstatic coming off the final budget election.  over 1,600 people voted for a menu of budget proposals, developed and vetted by over 400 participants in neighborhood assemblies.  the goal is to prioritize the allocation of $1.3 million of “menu money,” normally under the discretion of the ward’s alderman.  the menu is limited to neighborhood level developments, ranging from pot holes and street signs to community gardens and bus shelters.

voting was open to residents of the 49th ward, 16 years and up with an ID.  there were no restrictions based on immigration or criminal record status or current voter registration.

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