Talk at Columbia

For those in the New York area, I’ll be speaking at Columbia University’s Lectures in Planning series next week:
Talk: Participatory Budgeting in the US: Public Control Over Public Money
Speaker: Josh Lerner, The Participatory Budgeting Project
February 15, 1:00PM
Avery Hall 114
Faced with huge budget crises and low public trust, governments are increasingly turning to participatory budgeting. Through this democratic process, community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Since emerging in 1990 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, participatory budgeting has spread to over 1,000 cities around the world, giving communities control over spending decisions in municipalities, public housing, and schools. As Co-Director of The Participatory Budgeting Project, Lerner has researched and helped develop participatory budgeting processes in North America over the past decade. In 2009, he worked with Chicago Alderman Joe Moore to launch the first participatory budget in the US, in which over 1,600 residents decided how to spend Moore’s $1.3 million discretionary budget. This talk will focus on the recent experience in Chicago and on new possibilities for participatory budgeting in New York.