May 2017, Study Session: “Inclusion beyond turnout“. Centering equity is important in any PB process. We often think about who is involved and focus on marginalized communities. However, are ideas and projects from disenfranchised people making it on to ballots?
This Study Session focused on looking more deeply about what real inclusion means and learning about ways to lift up voices who are not often heard. To do this, we brought on Celina Su and Rossanna Mercedes
Celina Su, Associate Professor at Brooklyn College and Chair of Urban Studies at CUNY has done lots of great research on participatory budgeting, with a particular focus on addressing questions of equity.
Her recent article in the journal New Political Science looks at how disrupting racial hierarchies must go beyond counting who is involved. In particular, what counts as a “good project” shapes who’s ideas move forward and become investments in their community.
Rossanna Mercedes is the Communications and Advocacy Strategist at Participatory Budgeting Project. She has led volunteer management, communications, and trainings for over a thousand community members across New York City’s PB process. Prior to working at PBP, Rossanna was the District Director for the office of New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca, where she implemented one of the most successful PB processes in the country including record-setting voter turnout and community engagement.
Link: Special issue of New Political Science featuring participatory budgeting.
Check out the recording from the webinar: