Models for Participatory Budgeting

Participatory Budgeting (PB) has become a schizophrenic term, used as easily by neoliberal technocrats as it has been used by leftists seeking redistribution of wealth. As such, examining the function of any PB scheme with a critical lens is essential to determine whether it is an attempt to redistribute resources and power, or a tool to manufacture consent for the status quo and undermine/co-opt forces of resistance. While the goal of this analysis is not to delve deeply into the technical minutiae around the different processes, there is one clarification which may be useful to make at the beginning of the section. Much of what is often called PB could also be considered “participatory urban planning.” The distinction is that while budgeting denotes an explicit focus on allocating a discrete set of funds, planning seeks to take a more comprehensive survey of people's feelings, needs and problems, and generates a list of interventions based upon that feedback. Many straddle the line and include elements of both. This section will focus on processes which allocate revenue directly, will help explain why some interventions (Baltimore City Children and Youth Fund) will receive more direct attention and others (New York Cities Participatory Planning sessions) might receive less.

Participatory Budgeting (PB) has become a schizophrenic term, used as easily by neoliberal technocrats as it has been used by leftists seeking redistribution of wealth. As such, examining the function of any PB scheme with a critical lens is essential to determine whether it is an attempt to redistribute resources and power, or a tool to manufacture consent for the status quo and undermine/co-opt forces of resistance.
While the goal of this analysis is not to delve deeply into the technical minutiae around the different processes, there is one clarification which may be useful to make at the beginning of the section. Much of what is often called PB could also be considered “participatory urban planning.” The distinction is that while budgeting denotes an explicit focus on allocating a discrete set of funds, planning seeks to take a more comprehensive survey of people's feelings, needs and problems, and generates a list of interventions based upon that feedback. Many straddle the line and include elements of both. This section will focus on processes which allocate revenue directly, will help explain why some interventions (Baltimore City Children and Youth Fund) will receive more direct attention and others (New York Cities Participatory Planning sessions) might receive less.

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Part III. <strong>Models</strong> <strong>for</strong> <strong>Participatory</strong> <strong>Budgeting</strong><br />

Prepared By: Lawrence Grandpre,<br />

Director of Research, Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle<br />

When asking about <strong>Participatory</strong> <strong>Budgeting</strong>, it’s a bit like a Rorschach inkblot test. You’re<br />

learning a lot about the person you’re talking to.<br />

Brian Levy- World Bank<br />

<strong>Participatory</strong> <strong>Budgeting</strong> (PB) has become a schizophrenic term, used as easily by neoliberal<br />

technocrats as it has been used by leftists seeking redistribution of wealth. As such, examining the<br />

function of any PB scheme with a critical lens is essential to determine whether it is an attempt to<br />

redistribute resources and power, or a tool to manufacture consent <strong>for</strong> the status quo and<br />

undermine/co-opt <strong>for</strong>ces of resistance.<br />

While the goal of this analysis is not to delve deeply into the technical minutiae around the<br />

different processes, there is one clarification which may be useful to make at the beginning of the<br />

section. Much of what is often called PB could also be considered “participatory urban planning.”<br />

The distinction is that while budgeting denotes an explicit focus on allocating a discrete set of<br />

funds, planning seeks to take a more comprehensive survey of people's feelings, needs and<br />

problems, and generates a list of interventions based upon that feedback. Many straddle the line<br />

and include elements of both. This section will focus on processes which allocate revenue directly,<br />

will help explain why some interventions (Baltimore City Children and Youth Fund) will receive<br />

more direct attention and others (New York Cities <strong>Participatory</strong> Planning sessions) might receive<br />

less.<br />

An analysis of the most famous example of PB serves as a framework from which we can<br />

begin to interpret the variability of PB models and isolate best practices. The most influential <strong>for</strong>m<br />

of PB was established in Porto Alegre, Brazil in the 1980s. After years of rule by a military<br />

dictatorship, open elections lead to leftist governments taking power locally. They sought to<br />

produce a new <strong>for</strong>m of participatory governance which attempts to establish open, democratic<br />

meetings which would help determine where civic resources are allocated. While the process has<br />

evolved over the years, Boaventum de Sousa Santos gives a detailed overview of the functioning<br />

of a PB council in Brazil which can serve as a starting point <strong>for</strong> understanding the model:<br />

“...rodadas are open to the individual participation of any inhabitant of the city, as well as<br />

to the delegates of civic organizations and associations, even though in the Regional<br />

Assemblies only local residents are entitled to vote. They are coordinated by members of<br />

the municipal government (CRC, CROP and GAPLAN) as well as by PB delegates and<br />

councilors. Be<strong>for</strong>e the annual assemblies, there are preparatory meetings of the citizens<br />

that ordinarily take place during the month of March, in total autonomy and without the<br />

interference of the municipality. The aim of these preparatory meetings is to collect the<br />

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demands and claims of individual citizens, grassroots movements, and community<br />

institutions, concerning regional or thematic issues; they also initiate community<br />

mobilization to select regional delegates. These meetings are crucial to ventilate<br />

community demands and to discuss their relative priority. These meetings are convened<br />

and chaired by the popular councils or by the community leaderships and are at times very<br />

conflictual, since the different political orientations of the community organizations<br />

surface in the identification and <strong>for</strong>mulation of demands, and tend to impregnate the whole<br />

debate. Below, I shall deal with the issue of the autonomy of these meetings, as well as the<br />

autonomy of the intermediate-meetings mentioned next.<br />

The first rodada of assemblies, held in March and April, has the following objectives: a<br />

rendering of accounts, by the executive, of the Investment Plan of the previous year and<br />

presentation of the Plan approved <strong>for</strong> the current budget; the evaluation, by the citizens<br />

(by region or themes) and the executive, of the Investment Plan of the previous year; the<br />

first partial election of the delegates to the Fora of Delegates (regional and thematic); the<br />

remaining regional or thematic delegates will be elected during the next step of the process.<br />

The regional assemblies are open to the public but only the registered inhabitants of the<br />

region have the right to vote. The evolution of the criterion to determine the number of<br />

delegates to the regional and thematic <strong>for</strong>a bears Witness to the increasing involvement of<br />

the citizens in the PB…<br />

This option reflects the Prefeitura’s concern with getting -more people<br />

involved in the PB. The delegates elected in the first round of plenary assemblies and then<br />

in the “intermediary meetings” are usually indicated by the leaders of the associations<br />

present at the meetings. Thus, a citizen not integrated in a collective structure does not<br />

have much chance of being elected delegate (more on this below).<br />

Between the first and the second rodada of the assemblies, March through<br />

June, the so—called intermediate preparatory meetings take place. They are<br />

organized by the community or thematic organizations and associations,<br />

though now “coached” by the regional or thematic CROP and other rep—<br />

resentatives of the executive...The levels of conflictuality depend on the level of community<br />

organization and on the level of political polarization among the leaderships. At these<br />

intermediate meetings each region or theme hierarchizes the sectorial priorities. ...On the<br />

basis of these priorities and hierarchies, adding up the grades of the different priorities in<br />

all the regions the executive establishes the three first priorities of the budget in<br />

preparation. In the course of years, housing, sewerage, paving and land legalization<br />

(regularization of landed property) have been the commonest themes of the three main<br />

priorities, the order of priority oscillating amongst them. For instance, <strong>for</strong> the 2001 budget<br />

the three priorities were: paving (34 points), housing (32 points), and sewerage (27 points).<br />

During the past few years, education and health care have emerged as priorities.<br />

The second rodada of Regional and Thematic Assemblies held in june and<br />

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July is coordinated and chaired by representatives of the executive in conjunction with the<br />

popular organizations of the region or theme.<br />

The structure of the meetings is as follows: the executive presents the most<br />

important principles of the fiscal and revenue policies and expenditure<br />

policies that will have a bearing on the preparation of the budget <strong>for</strong> the fol<br />

lowing year; the executive also proposes the general criteria <strong>for</strong> the<br />

distribution of investment resources.<br />

The delegates of the communities present to the citizens and the executive the hierarchized<br />

demands approved in the intermediate meetings (regional or thematic). I in these<br />

assemblies two effective councilors and two substitutes in every region and theme are<br />

elected <strong>for</strong> the COP (participatory budgeting council). The councilors are elected <strong>for</strong> a<br />

one—year mandate and can be re—elected only once. ...The Fora of Delegates are<br />

collegiate organs with consulting, controlling, and mobilizing functions. The Fora meet<br />

once a month and the two major tasks of the delegates are to supervise the works and to<br />

act as intermediaries between the COP and the regions or thematic areas. As we will see<br />

below, the in<strong>for</strong>mation flows are not without problems.<br />

The COP is the main participatory institution. It plans, proposes, super—<br />

vises, and deliberates on the budget’s revenue and expenditure (Budgetary<br />

Proposal). There the elected citizens get acquainted with the municipal<br />

finances, discuss and establish the general criteria <strong>for</strong> resource allocation, and<br />

defend the priorities of regions and themes. At the Council sessions the insti—<br />

tutional mediation between citizens and community organizations on one<br />

side and municipal government on the other concerning budgetary decisions is conducted<br />

at the most concrete and intense level. Once inaugurated in July/August, the Council meets<br />

once a week on a set day, usually from 6 to 8 pm.” (Santos, 2007).<br />

While Santos provides detail, we can take a few overarching themes from Brazil’s PB<br />

process found in the work of Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Ernesto Ganuza. In their book, “Popular<br />

Democracy,” they attempt to isolate a few key threats from the Brazilian experiences. First, Porto<br />

Alegre explicitly framed democratic participation through a liberal lens, explicitly framing<br />

individuals in the assemblies as individuals and not recognizing them as representatives of<br />

institutional affiliations (Baicchi and Ganuza, 2017). This was designed to extend democratic<br />

participation beyond those who are affiliated with groups which articulate their interests to power.<br />

The powerfully entrenched civil society institutions have sought to monopolize access to decision<br />

makers. In a country emerging from years of military rule, PB was selected as a mechanism to<br />

prevent factionalism from overwhelming politics and to create a new outlet <strong>for</strong> democratic citizen<br />

input. Community facilitators guided conversations, with a focus on articulating a popular mandate<br />

<strong>for</strong> political prioritization over closing down conversations due to an abstracted notion of<br />

“technical expertise” (ibid).<br />

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As the 80s turned into the 90s, Porto Alegre backed the nascent PB with robust<br />

administrative re<strong>for</strong>m. Processes used to democratically allocate resources via PB allowed officials<br />

to push through a regional tax hike, creating robust administrative re<strong>for</strong>m to match the<br />

communicative in<strong>for</strong>mation flow established in the assemblies. Indeed, Baiocchi and Ganuza note<br />

that given these administrative re<strong>for</strong>ms that used popular pressure to substantially increase tax<br />

revenues, Porto Alegre’s PB sessions were not just about citizen participation. They were about<br />

meeting a leftist government’s popular mandate <strong>for</strong> economic redistribution, as they write:<br />

“The years of 1990 and 1991 were devoted to recuperating the financial and investment<br />

capacity of the municipality. Expenditure control combined with municipal fiscal re<strong>for</strong>m<br />

and larger federal and state transferences allowed by the 1988 Constitution were the<br />

policies that increased investment percentage of the budget to 10 per cent in 1990, 16.3<br />

per cent in 1991, and 17 per cent in 1992. As regards the municipal fiscal re<strong>for</strong>m,<br />

progressivity was introduced in the tax on urban property (IPTU, Property Tax on Urban<br />

Land and Homeownership), the ISSQN (literally, tax on any kind of service), and several<br />

tariffs concerning municipal services were updated (<strong>for</strong> instance, garbage collection) and<br />

indexed to inflation (then skyrocketing) at the same time that the surveillance of tax and<br />

tariff payments was made more efficient. The most dramatic change concerned the IPTU<br />

and the ISSQN. In the case of the <strong>for</strong>mer, in 1990 it amounted to 5.8 per cent of municipal<br />

revenue, in 1992 it reached 13.8 per cent, and today it varies between 17 and 18 per cent.<br />

The ISSQN represented 20 per cent of the municipal revenue in 1998.<br />

The tax re<strong>for</strong>m, which was crucial to relaunch the popular administration, had to be<br />

approved by the Cfimara de Vereadores. Because the Popular Front did not have the<br />

majority in the Cainara, the PT and the executive promoted a massive mobilization of the<br />

popular classes to pressure the legislators to approve the tax re<strong>for</strong>m law. As Tarso Genro<br />

recalls, the rightist and centrist legislators, taken by surprise, could not understand why<br />

the people would pressure them to raise taxes (Harnecker, 1993: 10).” (Ibid).<br />

During the 90s, the Porto Alegre model became known worldwide and began to be exported to<br />

other countries as an innovative new approach to civic participatory governance.<br />

It is in the context of how this model was exported that we find the seeds of the limitations,<br />

critiques and potential cooptions of participatory budgets. In 2001, the world social <strong>for</strong>um was<br />

held in Porto Alegre <strong>for</strong> the first time. Progressively-oriented lawmakers, activists, staff,<br />

consultants, and think-tank employees from all over the world heard firsthand from people on the<br />

ground about their PB and the successes they had in the town. But it is in the seeds of this<br />

transmission of in<strong>for</strong>mation where the seeds <strong>for</strong> the misappropriation of the methodology lie. At<br />

this moment, the brand of neoliberalism exemplified by Clinton and Blaire, called New Public<br />

Management (NPM) had led to perceived increased efficiency but a decline in democratic<br />

participation. Disenchantment with NPM’s focus on viewing the government through the lens of<br />

the 3 Ms (markets, managers and measurement) had opened space <strong>for</strong> a new theory of public<br />

management, Public Governance. While NPM argued that technocratic management was in part<br />

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creating a better consumer experience <strong>for</strong> the citizen and was critical to overcoming the malaise<br />

of Big Government, public governance argues it was not the size of government, but its<br />

relationship with the people which mattered. As such, consultants and advocates began to pitch a<br />

variety of measures to increase citizen involvement with the government. Rather than turning to<br />

the theories of radical grassroots democratization from the 1960s, public governance theorists<br />

turned toward new theories of democratic innovation. These theories meant to embed citizens into<br />

the existing government apparatus in an antagonistic relationship, rather than accede to calls <strong>for</strong><br />

the people-powered civil society <strong>for</strong>mations to supersede government in an antagonistic “hostile<br />

takeover.” With this ideological background in place, Western and European technocrats and<br />

liberals took the Porto Alegre model and placed it into the democratic innovation mold, ignoring<br />

the more antagonistic economic redistribution demanded by grassroots advocates which birthed<br />

the model in the first place. Thus, when the director of Porto Alegre’s PB ef<strong>for</strong>ts spoke on the issue<br />

in the early 2000s, he was interpreted through the lens of “good governance,” “democratic<br />

innovation” and incorporating citizens into the machinery of government, while the radical leftist<br />

roots of the PB ef<strong>for</strong>t were literally “lost in translation”:<br />

“Perhaps the most striking element of the trip were the public presentations, in particular<br />

those of de Souza, the director of planning in Porto Alegre. Of course most attendees were<br />

thrilled and proud to share their modest experiences with the radical administrators from<br />

the Global South. But de Souza’s talk was free of leftist platitudes or utopian gestures. In<br />

fact he was highly technical and down-to- earth, focusing on the “how” and not the “what”<br />

or “why” of participatory democracy, as one attendee recalled. His presentation, at times<br />

in bureaucratic tones, followed the steps of composing a yearly budget, allocating it to<br />

departments, and coordinating between them. Rather than invite participants to dream of<br />

a just society, the talk explained how to reconcile efficient administration, open<br />

participation, and the implementation of policies based on social justice. As Mayor Pont<br />

would say later, this was the utopia of reconciling apparently opposing ideas.<br />

The talk in Córdoba was emblematic of the way Porto Alegre officials framed their project<br />

at the time and typical of the international presentations: a series of slides that connected<br />

rational efficiency and social justice in a dense, sixty-minute speech. Several of the slides<br />

were concerned with the mundane details of the various administrative re<strong>for</strong>ms, such as<br />

property tax increases, the reassignment of technical staff, and most of all the creation of<br />

a new planning department. But as the experiment began to spread beyond Latin America<br />

and Spain, this part of the talk became increasingly less prominent. And as others began<br />

to translate Porto Alegre’s story into a set of applicable lessons, it dropped out<br />

altogether.” (Baicchi and Ganuza, 2017)<br />

Later in their book, Baicchi and Ganuza expound upon this analysis, arguing it was the<br />

malleability of PB which allowed its exportation into liberal Western countries, writing:<br />

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“If PB traveled in the 1990s as a centerpiece of a political strategy, as a standard-bearer<br />

<strong>for</strong> a new kind of electoral left-wing politics, in the 2000s it traveled isolated from the<br />

comprehensive administrative re<strong>for</strong>ms that linked it to the original political project in<br />

Porto Alegre. This made it a more malleable tool, compatible with any number of political<br />

projects. Another clear consequence of this trans<strong>for</strong>mation is the marginalization of social<br />

justice principles that inspired the initiative in the first place. In this way participatory<br />

budgeting, as a politically polyvalent method to improve governance from outside, first<br />

became an attractive idea in both Europe and the United States.” (Baicchi and Ganuza,<br />

2017)<br />

Additionally, focusing on the technical functioning of PB in Porto Alegre ignores the specific<br />

cultural conditions which birthed it. PB did not create a <strong>for</strong>um <strong>for</strong> citizen participation in Porto<br />

Alegre out of nowhere. In fact, it was the exact opposite; Porto Alegre was the reflection of the<br />

city’s long-standing traditions of popular mobilization and citizen participation. Boaventum de<br />

Sousa Santos remarks on this when he writes:<br />

“Porto Alegre is a city of ample democratic traditions, a strong, highly organized civil<br />

society. The military dictatorship met with fierce political resistance in Rio Grande do Sul,<br />

especially in Porto Alegre. For example, because of the pressure exerted by the democratic<br />

opposition against the repressive institutions of the dictatorship, political prisoners could<br />

not be “safely imprisoned” in the city and were often sent outside the city, usually to $510<br />

Paulo. The opposition was led by intellectuals, labor unions, and the only legalized<br />

opposition party, Movimento Demiocratico Brasileiro (Brazilian Democratic Movement,<br />

hence<strong>for</strong>th MDB). The MDB attracted all the clandestine organizations—whether<br />

socialist, communist or revolutionary—Christian—opposed to the military dictatorship.<br />

Since the political situation rendered unviable almost all political struggle at the national<br />

(macro—political) level, the above mentioned organizations focused their activity on<br />

strengthening the unions and on such community movements as neighborhood and street<br />

associations, soccer clubs, cooperatives, mother’s clubs, cultural groups, and so on. These<br />

movements and organizations were either of a general nature or concerned with specific<br />

demands, such as the struggle <strong>for</strong> bus lines, the struggle <strong>for</strong> sewers or street paving, the<br />

struggle <strong>for</strong> housing or health centers, and so on. A powerful, diversified, popular<br />

movement thus emerged, one that in the early 1980s became deeply involved in local<br />

government. (Santos, 2007)<br />

The Marxist-Leninist roots of this community organizing and their resistance to military<br />

dictatorship supported by the CIA, is obscured as the Porto Alegre model is exported.<br />

But a deeper look at the demographics of Porto Alegre reveals another possible, more<br />

nefarious potential critique of the Porto Alegre model. Eighty percent of the population of Porto<br />

Alegre is categorized as white; in a country where over 40% of the population is categorized as<br />

multiracial, that is a notable fact. One wonders if the ethnic heterogeneity of the population could<br />

help smooth the PB process, as the process was not seen as inherently providing resources to those<br />

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outside of larger social groups, but more of a division of resources within it. Finally, the politics<br />

of the PB process, though stemming from Leftist roots, were found to be malleable enough to fit<br />

within conservative political frameworks. Indeed, with its intentional focus on undermining the<br />

established organizations and community groups, many of which came from a leftist perspective,<br />

PB in many ways effectively served the interests of the right. It effectively served as a containment<br />

vessel <strong>for</strong> left-wing concerns, as these diverse groups were <strong>for</strong>ced to send individual<br />

representatives to advocate <strong>for</strong> their group interests at the assemblies. In addition to potentially<br />

pitting leftist groups against each other, it put them in contact with people who were not held<br />

accountable to an institutional <strong>for</strong>mation. Individual citizens were engaging PB like a consumer<br />

product to get their personal grievances heard rather than demanding changes <strong>for</strong> community good.<br />

Indeed, when conservatives took power in 2004, they kept the increasingly bureaucratized PB<br />

process in place and proceeded to gut the deeper administrative changes to ensure the process<br />

benefit favored political patrons and the local elites (ibid).<br />

This leads to the ultimate question of the deeper political resonance on PB: if PB could<br />

create a larger democratic participation in Brazil and spread through the country, how could Brazil,<br />

the land which birthed PB, also birth the sort of reactionary, biased and bigoted social movement<br />

which could lead Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency of the country? According to the Washington<br />

Post, despite their malleability and deliberate intent to prevent capture by the left, many still<br />

perceived PB as an instrument of the left. In the face of Bolsono, some of the PB assemblies are<br />

essentially re<strong>for</strong>ming themselves as instruments of the right, further watering down the<br />

administrative changes in the Porto Alegre model and stacking the participatory bodies with<br />

Bolsonaro supporters (Lima, 2019).<br />

As PB spread outside of Brazil, other theorists attempted to tweak the model and apply it<br />

to particular circumstances, including attempting to smooth some of the conflictual tendencies of<br />

PB with experiences from a seemingly unrelated domain.<br />

Making “Democracy” Fun- Incorporating Elements of Gaming as PB Spreads Worldwide<br />

In the Argentinian city of Rosario, the city planners had a problem. The attempts to<br />

incorporate the slums in the center of the city came with serious disruption of people's lives. People<br />

would have to be moved, houses built without documented or official property rights established<br />

would have to be destroyed and new community architecture planned. In other parts of the slums,<br />

full-scale violent resistance broke out in response to attempts to clear and rebuild the slums. In<br />

2005, lawmakers sought to radically redesign the process, which followed traditional notions of<br />

“participation” but got limited buy-in, with principals from radical leftist theater and a<br />

participatory design using designed dynamics from classic games such as Tetris, to “gamify” urban<br />

planning.<br />

Josh Lerner, director of the Boston-based nonprofit “<strong>Participatory</strong> <strong>Budgeting</strong>,” wrote a<br />

book attempting to extol the virtues of what he sees as an “evolved” PB process which seeks to<br />

use design “tricks of the trade” to increase participation and feedback on PB projects (note: the<br />

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Argentinian example might be more akin to participatory planning). In his book, “Making<br />

Democracy Fun,” Lerner presents Rosario as an example of two different applications of game<br />

design to PB and planning:<br />

1st - City of the Children. Plaza of Dreams. Officials worked with youth to use theater as an<br />

in<strong>for</strong>mation-gathering tool. Using the theories of Augusto Boal, author of the book “Theater of the<br />

Oppressed,” youth acted out scenarios reflecting their everyday lives and struggles with service<br />

provision and authority in their neighborhoods. The goal was to use these as in<strong>for</strong>mation-gathering<br />

sessions <strong>for</strong> the construction of various plazas throughout Rosario which would be used as spaces<br />

to meet the desires of youth.<br />

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2nd- The authorities used participatory games to produce maps <strong>for</strong> service provision and the<br />

establishment of land rights. With the Rosario Hábitat process, the city used maps and transparent<br />

puzzle pieces designed to fit together like a puzzle. The authorities sought to allow participants to<br />

design their own living arrangements and to determine how the community would have to change<br />

with the installation of urban infrastructure, sewage, water and other amenities impacting land<br />

availability. Lerner argues that with proper guidance, this process can smooth the tensions inherent<br />

in planning choices.<br />

Lerner provides an in-depth description of one process he observed, which provides context as to<br />

what it involves.<br />

“After the initial planning workshops, staff hold rule-making workshops in<br />

each sector of each villa, using a participatory process to establish clear program<br />

rules. One Tuesday morning, I observed a rule-making workshop in<br />

Villa Itatí, at a health center recently built by Rosario Hábitat. Inside the<br />

meeting room, staff arranged 25 plastic chairs in an oval, leaving a scuffed<br />

white table in the middle. As they posted flipchart paper and maps on the<br />

walls, residents began to arrive, each one receiving a folder with handouts.<br />

By 9:45, 20 people were waiting in their chairs, so the lead facilitator<br />

started the workshop. Despite his young face, Juan spoke with an unusually<br />

calm and clear Spanish. He explained that today the residents of villa sector<br />

A would start deciding which of their houses would relocate and to where,<br />

so that new roads and infrastructure could be built. Their specific tasks: pick<br />

criteria <strong>for</strong> determining who stays and who leaves, and start to map out passageways<br />

in the new block.<br />

Paula, another facilitator, pointed to a poster on the wall, labeled Fixed<br />

Rules. “Eleven basic Rosario Hábitat rules are outlined here,” she clarified,<br />

“and in your handouts.” As she explained, passageways were necessary so<br />

that all houses would have direct and safe access to the roads. Juan went<br />

over the other rules and explained their rationales: each new lot must be at<br />

least 100 m2 large (to ensure equality and basic living standards), no more<br />

than 30 percent of the families could move from the villa (to ensure that<br />

people’s livelihoods were not disrupted excessively), and so <strong>for</strong>th. People<br />

asked a few questions of clarification, nodding as staff responded.<br />

“These rules are a good start,” Juan concluded, “but now it’s your turn<br />

to decide on new ones.” If there were three families living in a space that<br />

only fit two 100-m2 lots, how would they decide who would relocate? Juan<br />

explained that people in other workshops had suggested several criteria <strong>for</strong><br />

making such decisions: <strong>for</strong> example, length of tenancy, how precarious the<br />

house is, number of inhabitants, family members with disabilities, chance,<br />

and mutual agreement. Juan posted on the wall sheets of colored paper<br />

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presenting these criteria.<br />

Paula asked if anyone had other criteria to add. Yasmín said that she<br />

wanted to stay near her brother’s family, so maybe they could add “family<br />

members nearby” to the list. Juan nodded and posted it on the wall. Maxi<br />

joked that “whoever serves the mate gets to stay.” Others suggested a few<br />

more serious criteria. After 15 minutes the discussion died down, so Juan<br />

called <strong>for</strong> a vote to set the order of the criteria. Paula handed each family a<br />

paper strip with the numbers 1 to 10 printed in a column. Juan explained<br />

that everyone should think about which criteria mattered most, and then<br />

come up to the wall to label them in order of importance. After some discussions,<br />

people tore their sheets into 10 pieces and, armed with glue sticks,<br />

stuck the numbers on the criteria sheets to show their preferences (see figure<br />

5.4). Paula counted the votes, to determine which criteria would have<br />

top priority <strong>for</strong> deciding land disputes.<br />

Juan thanked everyone <strong>for</strong> prioritizing the criteria, and invited them up<br />

to the table in the middle of the room. A giant map lay on the table, with<br />

each family’s house labeled. Their task was to suggest where passageways<br />

should go, using several long rectangular cutouts of colored transparency<br />

Paula asked if anyone had other criteria to add. Yasmín said that she<br />

wanted to stay near her brother’s family, so maybe they could add “family sheets. As Juan<br />

explained, each cutout represented a passageway, to scale<br />

with the map. He moved several cutouts around the map, to illustrate how<br />

they could be placed.<br />

After Juan’s demonstration, the neighbors began moving the pieces<br />

around, and new questions surfaced. Did the passageways have to be<br />

straight, like the cutouts? Yes, because otherwise they would be unsafe.<br />

Why were some cutouts wider than others? Because the width depended<br />

on how many families used the passageway to reach their house. As Mónica<br />

noticed, the cutouts were labeled with different sizes: 1.5 meters wide <strong>for</strong><br />

access to one house, 1.8 meters <strong>for</strong> two houses, and so <strong>for</strong>th.<br />

After 20 minutes of playing with the cutouts, participants settled on<br />

locations <strong>for</strong> two passageways. With criteria and passageways decided, Juan<br />

called the meeting to a close around 11:00.<br />

The rule-making workshop, and others like it, helped generate and legitimate<br />

Rosario Hábitat’s rules—what residents could and could not do. To do<br />

this, it used several of the same game mechanics that designers use to establish<br />

game rules: participant-generated rules, multimodal presentation, narrative,<br />

just-in-time in<strong>for</strong>mation, and modeling.<br />

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First, Rosario Hábitat let participants develop and order their own rules <strong>for</strong><br />

negotiating land conflicts. While most games start with fixed rules, some<br />

enable players to craft their own rules—through what Salen and Zimmerman<br />

call “trans<strong>for</strong>mative social play.”17 Sometimes players end up more<br />

interested in the rules they create than in the original rules.18 This seemed<br />

to be the case in Rosario Hábitat. As Mónica boasted, “We set the rules ourselves<br />

. . . so if we complain it’ll be stupid. And they have to be maintained<br />

because the agreement was collective and consensual.” Sergio added that he<br />

couldn’t go against the rules because “they’re decisions of my neighbors in<br />

the villa.” Small face-to-face meetings were essential <strong>for</strong> participatory rulemaking,<br />

since they allowed <strong>for</strong> more com<strong>for</strong>table dialogue and flexibility<br />

than larger or online <strong>for</strong>ums.<br />

Rosario Hábitat also imposes some fixed rules, however. Some are technical constraints<br />

<strong>for</strong> installing infrastructure, while others outline the<br />

rights of residents. The rule-making workshop did not assume that people<br />

instantly understood the rules, but rather that rules needed to be constantly<br />

communicated, explained, and rein<strong>for</strong>ced. Like good games, the workshops<br />

accomplished this through multimodal presentation of in<strong>for</strong>mation.<br />

As James Gee observed, games convey meaning and knowledge through<br />

images, words, sounds, and other modalities. Just as board games such<br />

as Monopoly communicate rules (such as collect $200 on passing Go) by presenting<br />

them in the instructions and writing them on the game board, the<br />

workshop facilitators communicated rules by distributing them as handouts,<br />

writing them on the wall, and reading them aloud. When asked how<br />

clear the rules were, one participant pointed to the wall and said, “They’re<br />

very clear, because they’re there.”<br />

In some cases, however, the reasoning behind rules is not obvious. Many<br />

games craft narratives to explain why players can or cannot take certain<br />

actions, and Rosario Hábitat took a similar approach. Facilitators tried to<br />

situate and explain fixed rules within a broader story of neighborhood<br />

change. In this story, community members would try to distribute land<br />

more equally and fairly, while disrupting the neighborhood as little as possible.<br />

This narrative helped frame the rules of 100 m2 per lot and maximum<br />

of 30 percent relocations, <strong>for</strong> example, as tools to advance common goals,<br />

rather than as arbitrary limits. One facilitator felt that this explanation<br />

helped people “accept because they understand,” rather than just accept<br />

Blindly.<br />

Finally, the workshop helped participants more deeply understand the<br />

rules through just-in-time in<strong>for</strong>mation and modeling. Games avoid over-<br />

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whelming players with in<strong>for</strong>mation, instead presenting it only at the<br />

moment when it is actually useful. Similarly the workshop explained the<br />

rules about passageway size and shape at the moment when participants<br />

were actually arranging passageways on the map. By gradually adding more<br />

in<strong>for</strong>mation, the workshop helped participants process the rules bit by bit.<br />

The colored passageway cutouts also served to model the rules. They provided<br />

physical models of the rules governing passageway size and shape—<br />

1.5 m width <strong>for</strong> one family, straight lines, and so <strong>for</strong>th. Having both, Juan<br />

first moved the pieces around on the map, and likewise modeled the kinds<br />

of trade-offs and calculations that would ultimately have to be made.” (Lerner, 2014,<br />

This process appears to have an almost alchemical power to it. By creating cooperative<br />

games, the author claims the process was able to smooth tension which had been roiled by other<br />

attempts at urban renewal. A deeper examination of the processes described reveals more of their<br />

limitations.<br />

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The Rosario process attempts to create space <strong>for</strong> citizen-generated input within the rules<br />

defined by the political establishment. There<strong>for</strong>e, it ignores the lessons of resources redistribution<br />

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and land re<strong>for</strong>m presented by Porto Alegre. Rather than redistributing resources, it is literally<br />

distributing a scarce resource of land, creating an incentive <strong>for</strong> those within the process to buy into<br />

based upon securing a favorable position <strong>for</strong> themselves and their family rather than broadening<br />

social quality <strong>for</strong> their community. By presenting a 30% relocation rate as an ironclad rule of the<br />

process, the process can be seen as attempting to manufacture consent <strong>for</strong> what is, in essence, a<br />

<strong>for</strong>m of slum removal done at the behest of downtown business interests (the books notes the<br />

importance of slum removal to maintain Rosario’s thriving urban core). It is a clear example of<br />

the consumerification of democratic participation, as the participatory process is designed to meet<br />

discreet desires <strong>for</strong> family and friends to live close to one another, rather than to change the larger<br />

social and economic ecosystem in which they live.<br />

Deeper analysis reveals many of Lerner’s vaunted gameplay “tricks of the trade” can be<br />

subject to critique. His analysis on the value of “just in time” in<strong>for</strong>mation, a gameplay technique<br />

designed to give players relevant in<strong>for</strong>mation when they need it to complete a task and not be<strong>for</strong>e<br />

to avoid in<strong>for</strong>mation overload, makes sense when the goal is to slay a computerized dragon. But<br />

in the context of a literal life and death decision on the future of a community, it comes across as<br />

paternalistic and troubling. It is essentially a glorification of the staff being the gatekeepers of<br />

knowledge. Despite arguing that the rules were “up <strong>for</strong> discussion,” it appears some in<strong>for</strong>mation<br />

was set in stone and not up <strong>for</strong> debate. The participants didn’t know it unless it bumped up against<br />

an issue which required “just in time” in<strong>for</strong>mation to be revealed.<br />

A deeper analysis of the Theater of the Oppressed activity reveals similar concerns,<br />

specifically on the replicability of this process. The process of the Theater of the Oppressed has<br />

no direct link to resources or urban planning. The author there<strong>for</strong>e assumes an inherent value in<br />

the political messages coming from artistic per<strong>for</strong>mance and that the authorities present are<br />

sufficiently trained to interpret how these per<strong>for</strong>mances should translate into political solutions.<br />

The author himself acknowledged as much, writing:<br />

“Plaza Dreams was not having much impact. More than three years after<br />

winning funding, only one of the 14 plazas had been constructed, and that<br />

one only partly. According to Ana, the rest were suffering from “budget<br />

problems.” “The problem is with the adults. They don’t designate funds<br />

<strong>for</strong> the City of the Children, don’t put it on the agenda. There’s still a lack<br />

of education among the municipal staff. When it comes time to finalize<br />

something, they say that it’s a mess and nothing can be done.” The City of<br />

the Children made Rosario look good, but <strong>for</strong> Ana, the administration was<br />

not really supporting the program.<br />

Others placed the blame elsewhere. “It’s how the City of the Children<br />

positions itself,” suggested another member of the Intergovernmental<br />

Commission. While the program was officially housed in the Department<br />

of Children, it was physically and ideologically isolated. Staff worked in a<br />

refurbished train station far from the department headquarters. Most of<br />

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them were trained as artists or psychologists. Other departmental staff complained<br />

that the council coordinators insisted too firmly on implementing<br />

children’s “authentic” ideas, without adult contamination. As a result the<br />

program often came into conflict with the planners, technicians, and other<br />

adults who had the power and expertise to turn ideas into reality.<br />

These conflicts were part of a deeper problem with Plaza Dreams (and<br />

with the City of the Children program): the coordinators insisted on separating<br />

children’s play from adult work. During the workshop games, facilitators<br />

did not share any in<strong>for</strong>mation about the plaza, nor did they ask the<br />

children to tackle the real decisions that planners would have to make.<br />

Afterward, planners designed the spaces mainly on their own, without<br />

Playing.<br />

This separation between play and work distracted children’s attention<br />

and trivialized meaningful planning decisions. The workshops focused<br />

attention entirely on play and games, concealing the children’s ultimate<br />

lack of power over design decisions. To design public spaces, planners<br />

need to address tricky issues such as accessibility, environmental impacts,<br />

and safety. In the workshop these serious topics were reduced to abstract<br />

splashes of paint and ambiguous snippets of poetry.” (Lerner, 2014, 110-111).<br />

This practical concern over whether the play sessions accomplish their missions should not obscure<br />

deeper concerns as to the dangers inherent in how this play was politically used and carried out.<br />

The town of Rosario, like Porto Alegre, is a town with a disproportionately large white population<br />

compared to the rest of the country. This fact is particularly relevant <strong>for</strong> Argentina given its history<br />

of <strong>for</strong>ced migration of Black citizens in the 19th century and “Blanqueamiento,” or intentionally<br />

encouraging (white) european immigration in the 20th century. Many scholars have questioned the<br />

emancipatory power of per<strong>for</strong>mance <strong>for</strong> Black people given the history of racialized stereotypes<br />

projected onto Black bodies. They present the possibility that these <strong>for</strong>ms of “theatrical”<br />

per<strong>for</strong>mance can create a <strong>for</strong>m of fetishization of Black bodies which might deter Black citizens<br />

from participating or lead the process to become infused with racial bias (Yancy, 2006).<br />

To Lerner’s credit, he does pepper his text with acknowledgments of the limitations of<br />

these gaming design-infused PB processes. But even in his acknowledgments of the limitations of<br />

the process, he reveals his personal inability to grasp the political limitations of the process<br />

analysed by Baicchi and Ganuza. In analysing a session of Rosario Hábitat which did not work,<br />

Lerner blames the problem not on the fundamental limitations of the process, but on a failure to<br />

apply game design principles properly, such as demonstrating the process and using affect and<br />

direction to create the heralded “magic circle” effect, where people can suspend reality and buy<br />

into the process. Similarly, Lerner explains that people bought into the process more when they<br />

saw things being built and understood that there would be significant government investment in<br />

their community. However, he does not see this as the sort of transactional, consumer-based theory<br />

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of participatory governance Baicchi and Ganuza caution us about but instead chalks the victory up<br />

to these facilitators better executing his vaunted game design principals to smooth out potential<br />

conflict.<br />

That the very impetus <strong>for</strong> the installation of this process was violent resistance in the streets<br />

by people in other parts of the city, one wonders if the “smoothing of conflict” is even desirable,<br />

given the reality of dislocation and potential gentrification this process would entail. In a Latin<br />

American country where US-backed CIA dictators created a historical legacy of violence, Lerner<br />

says nothing about these structural conditions and simply notes how happy the people going<br />

through the process seem, which raises the question as to whether PB can serve as a sort of opioid,<br />

dulling the impact of neoliberal structural violence by creating the illusion of control in those who<br />

participate in the process.<br />

PB in America- The Chicago Example<br />

While there are recent examples of PB in America, many are very recent and have news<br />

articles written about them and there<strong>for</strong>e, do not make <strong>for</strong> the best in-depth scholarly analysis. The<br />

PB process in Chicago, however, is one of the longest-running and presents a vantage point from<br />

which to see the unique challenge of using PB in an American urban environment.<br />

The Chicago process has been described as “attempting to create a bottom up process from<br />

the top down” (Baicchi and Ganuza, 2017). In an attempt to respond to criticism about the lack of<br />

focus on district-specific policy, the <strong>for</strong>mer alderman <strong>for</strong> the 49th ward of the city, Joe Moore,<br />

decided to allocate his discretionary “menu money” fund of approximately 1.3 million dollars per<br />

the results of the PB process. Far from the radical redistributive politics of Porto Alegre or the<br />

liberation theater of Rosario, the process which ensued was far more technocratic, reflecting:<br />

“In the 49th Ward, Moore used PB to allocate his discretionary “menu money,” a<br />

$1.3 million fund given annually to aldermen <strong>for</strong> infrastructure projects. The fund is a<br />

trivial matter in Chicago city politics; constituents are largely unaware of it and allocation<br />

decisions face little public scrutiny. Thus when Moore proposed participatory budgeting<br />

<strong>for</strong> the 49th Ward, not only was the process of deliberation <strong>for</strong>eign to residents; the<br />

community was unfamiliar with the budget itself. From the start Moore recognized that he<br />

faced an inherent contradiction in trying to build a bottom-up process from the top down.<br />

Early on he convened a steering committee of local activists to put a “Rogers Park stamp”<br />

on the process. With help from the <strong>Participatory</strong> <strong>Budgeting</strong> Project the committee made<br />

initial decisions regarding the design of the process (writing and approving a rule book),<br />

met regularly to plan its next steps, and facilitated the first community meetings.<br />

Throughout, the steering committee thought of itself as the backbone and directive body of<br />

PB in the ward.<br />

In early November 2009 the PB organizers held nine neighborhood assemblies<br />

throughout the ward—eight in different neighborhood areas and one wardwide assembly<br />

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<strong>for</strong> Spanish-speaking residents. After the steering committee sent out invitations and e-<br />

mails to presumably all thirty thousand households in the ward, residents turned out in<br />

small but substantial numbers; about <strong>for</strong>ty community members attended each initial<br />

meeting. The assemblies were divided into two main parts. First, the alderman and the<br />

steering committee introduced the concept of participatory budgeting and the details of the<br />

menu money budget. The facilitators explained that the project aimed to transfer power to<br />

the people in the spirit of a more “democratic democracy.” They also provided in<strong>for</strong>mation<br />

about some of the constraints and common uses of menu money. In the second part of the<br />

meeting, participants were divided into discussion groups to deliberate about<br />

infrastructure needs and priorities.<br />

Participants proposed a range of ideas such as a community swimming pool,<br />

pothole filling, murals, and bike lanes. Steering committee members facilitated these<br />

groups, operating as if they knew more about the menu money budget than the other<br />

participants. They believed this meeting structure would ensure that the initial stages of<br />

the process ran smoothly. At the end of these initial assemblies the facilitators invited<br />

residents to stay involved in the process by becoming community representatives.<br />

These “Community Reps” as they came to be known were responsible <strong>for</strong><br />

developing concrete spending proposals <strong>for</strong> the final wardwide vote. About sixty residents<br />

volunteered to become community reps. Each rep chose to serve on one of six budgeting<br />

committees: transportation, traffic safety, public safety, parks and environment, streets,<br />

and art and other projects. Committees met separately and could exercise considerable<br />

discretion in determining the process, outcomes, and criteria <strong>for</strong> project selection. There<br />

was no minimum or maximum limit to the number of projects that could be slated; members<br />

could work in subcommittees or together as one group; and whether decisions would be<br />

based on community needs or on representatives’ interests was open <strong>for</strong> debate. Ultimately<br />

the six committees proposed a total of thirty-six projects ranging from street resurfacing<br />

to bike lanes to community gardens.<br />

The PB facilitators then placed the proposals, including project descriptions and<br />

estimated price tags, on a ballot. They invited all ward residents age sixteen and over to<br />

vote <strong>for</strong> up to eight projects —a rule the steering committee developed be<strong>for</strong>e the process<br />

began. Community reps and the steering committee organized a massive “get out the vote”<br />

ef<strong>for</strong>t involving yard signs, community banners, and displays of project posters. Many<br />

community representatives campaigned <strong>for</strong> their committee’s projects. Over the course of<br />

a single voting-day event and a week of early voting, over 1,600 people cast their ballots<br />

in a ward of approximately 30,000 eligible voters. The projects that won the most votes<br />

were funded from the $1.3 million of the alderman’s discretionary budget.” (ibid).<br />

In the Chicago process, we see much of what was warned about in the previous processes<br />

in Brazil and Argentina and the results which the watering down of the Porto Alegre model<br />

presented. In Brazil, care was taken (perhaps too much care) to prevent established civil society<br />

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interests from controlling the PB process whereas in Chicago, established homeowners<br />

associations and community groups played a key role in the process. The transportation committee<br />

was especially filled with local political wheelers and dealers. This led to one of the more<br />

contentious fights in the PB process, with a proposal to expand bike lanes being rejected by city<br />

technocrats who claimed the proposed design was not feasible. This caused a schism within the<br />

transportation committee between younger, more activist types who saw the bike lanes as an<br />

essential part of an eco-friendly social movement and thus, off the table <strong>for</strong> compromise and older<br />

community activist types more acquainted with negotiating with Chicago’s political machine<br />

(ibid). There was a similar fight over the cost estimate <strong>for</strong> a dog park, with the city’s technocrats<br />

estimating the cost much higher than the citizens and demanding that the park mirror the design<br />

of parks designed <strong>for</strong> humans, even if it was designed <strong>for</strong> dogs (ibid). The other lesson of Porto<br />

Alegre, not allowing technical expertise to overwhelm democratic community will, was also not<br />

learned. That the pot of money used was small and obscure also fit with the analysis that the<br />

redistribution portion of the Porto Alegre example was not met. The Chicago PB mirrored Porto<br />

Alegre and Rosario in one unflattering way; it similarly had issues reflecting the diversity of the<br />

community, as Baicchi and Ganuza note:<br />

“Chicago’s process in contrast has been less inclusive, tending to privilege the<br />

participation of homeowners and college-educated whites.31 A 2013 survey of participants<br />

in neighborhood assemblies and among community representatives found that Latino<br />

participants were severely underrepresented, while African American participants were<br />

still underrepresented.32 Moreover social justice organizations have been largely absent<br />

in the overall Chicago process. In one ward researchers report that groups ‘representing<br />

the interests of low-income renters’ have been largely absent from the process. Though<br />

they ‘were invited to join,’ they ‘were not made to feel welcome’ and tried to “disassociate<br />

themselves” from participatory budgeting.”33 The same researchers note that ‘despite the<br />

large presence of community groups in Chicago, only a fraction of them were enrolled in<br />

the PB process’…”(Baicchi and Ganuza, 2017).<br />

While it is tempting to see Chicago's PB process as a failure, it might be more accurate to see it as<br />

successful in meeting the goal of PB as they had been defined and thus, revealing the limitations<br />

of the technocratic, “citizen as consumer” style definitions of PB that have applied. In meetings<br />

<strong>for</strong> the Chicago PB, folks visiting the steering committee wondered out loud whether this was a<br />

group of “professionals who were afraid of working class people” and whether this was a “group<br />

of the alderman’s supporters”. Dismissing these criticisms of the process as ad hominem personal<br />

attacks or misin<strong>for</strong>med ignore the stated goal of PB which is to generate increased political<br />

consensus through antagonistic deliberation between citizens to encourage the community to work<br />

in deeper collaboration with the state. Working class folks antagonistic to the middle class political<br />

order and social justice radicals antagonistic to the centrist political machine are thus always<br />

already framed as outside the process and threats to the “magic circle,” as they may interject calls<br />

<strong>for</strong> administrative change and resource redistribution which exceed the space the PB process can<br />

accommodate. It is interesting that although John Lerner is the co-founder of the nonprofit brought<br />

in to help design the Chicago process, he does not mention the process in his book, leading on to<br />

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only project what his commentary on the Chicago process would be; likely that they should have<br />

played more and better games to align people’s self-interests more efficiently. This ignores the<br />

fact that all of the source of conflict in the Chicago process between the activists and the<br />

establishment community representatives on the PB transportation committee, and between the<br />

political administration and the PB committee, is from different people doing exactly what Lerner<br />

and other PB advocates ask them to do: operate in their own self-interests. When these selfinterests<br />

competed beyond the “magic circle” of gameplay Lerner promotes, there was not an<br />

infrastructure of community organizing or political base building present to push back, as these<br />

sorts of potentially confrontational ef<strong>for</strong>ts are the exact sort of effects PB is designed to trade off<br />

with, which the example in Rosario shows. Baicchi and Ganuza reflect on this notion of competing<br />

ideas of “good citizenship” and what that entails playing out in the battle between the PB<br />

transportation committee and the administration technocrats, writing:<br />

“The committee proposed the path because participants wanted<br />

more recreational space <strong>for</strong> biking and walking. The proponents of the project were selfinterested<br />

in the sense that their goal was to improve their own pursuits. To them this<br />

seemed like a legitimate motivation: they were residents of the ward and as such felt<br />

justified in making a demand they believed would advance their personal interests.<br />

According to recollections by participants, the alderman’s office did not agree. The staff<br />

recognized that the representatives were entitled to make demands as citizens in the<br />

process, but they held that legitimate demands were grounded in concerns <strong>for</strong> the larger<br />

community. Many residents, especially condominium owners whose land abutted the<br />

property, would oppose the path. Thus, as one participant remembered, the concern was<br />

raised that the committee “needed to think in terms of the whole neighborhood.” They were<br />

told by the alderman’s office that “we should have taken this opposition into consideration,<br />

and the fact that we did not was taken as disregard” <strong>for</strong> the community’s wider set of<br />

interests. The bike path proponents’ self-interested motivations conflicted with an<br />

unspoken assumption of good citizenship. It was not enough to want a project that would<br />

satisfy your own interests, however reasonable they may seem. Rather participants should<br />

want the project to benefit the entire community, and propose it in terms that reflected this<br />

interest.” (ibid).<br />

Without a broad framing of social justice and broad community benefit, the advocates on the<br />

transportation committee were (correctly) seen as self-interested and thus, were seen as not having<br />

a leg to stand on when met with NIMBY (not in my back yard) opposition arguing the flip side,<br />

that they had a material, personal and quality of life interest in not having the bike lanes. Were<br />

they not citizens? Didn’t their participation matter? Without any mechanisms to adjudicate these<br />

kinds of conflicts, Chicago’s PB would continue to be seen as an insular process where<br />

“professional citizens” get to “play” at being city planner and manifest projects which meet their<br />

personal consumer desires, far from the radical emancipatory democratic revolution Lerner<br />

promises.<br />

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When Lerner was invited to Baltimore, he demonstrated his PB processes. Members of the<br />

community felt his processes were not reflective of what would be best <strong>for</strong> the community, and<br />

launched a political campaign to get the Baltimore City Children and Youth fund to reflect a<br />

participatory process which would genuinely empower the community. There was a meeting held<br />

in 2016 by a local nonprofit, Strong City, which invited the Boston-based PB process to Baltimore<br />

to pilot some of their processes and in<strong>for</strong>m people in the community of what they have done. Upon<br />

seeing some of the a<strong>for</strong>ementioned “gamified” PB process championed by Lerner and<br />

conversation with those familiar with the PB Projects who touted “successes” stories in Boston,<br />

concern began to brew among some that these were ef<strong>for</strong>ts to get the Boston process adopted in<br />

Baltimore. Also, there was concern that these processes would not reflect what many community<br />

experts felt would be the best use of these funds.<br />

First, there was conversation about making a smaller portion of the 12 million dollars<br />

available via some sort of PB process, with the remaining amount being managed by a traditional<br />

grant making institution (such as the Family League or Strong City Baltimore). This idea raised<br />

concerns that an incident similar to what happened in Porto Alegre would occur, being that the PB<br />

process would be the mandatory process <strong>for</strong> all community folk, closing off the majority of these<br />

funds that were locked into the traditional grant-making process <strong>for</strong> larger, more established<br />

nonprofits. Second, after hearing of the processes in Boston, which used gamified processes to<br />

isolate community concerns and create the contours of an RFP which was then vetted and put up<br />

<strong>for</strong> an internet vote, concerns were raised that while the process on face seemed fair and<br />

democratic, the larger, more established nonprofit would be able to launch better digital PR<br />

campaigns to get votes <strong>for</strong> their projects, essentially tilting the scale toward middle-class<br />

knowledge economy professionals (who, in Baltimore, are disproportionately white) and against<br />

working class grassroots activists who do work in the most needy communities in Baltimore<br />

(which are mostly Black). Due to the objections by civil society organizations, a task <strong>for</strong>ce was<br />

established to determine the next steps.<br />

Baltimore City Children and Youth Fund<br />

In 2015, youth in Baltimore protested the death of a young Black man, Freddie Gray, by<br />

burning cars and throwing rocks at police. In 2016, via the ef<strong>for</strong>ts of then-City Council President<br />

Jack Young, citizens passed a public ordinance at the ballot box which allocated 3% of the city’s<br />

collective property tax dollars (approximately 12 million dollars per year) to the Baltimore City<br />

Children and Youth Fund, a non-lapsing government fund which would provide support <strong>for</strong><br />

organizations working with children and youth.<br />

As soon as the city established this fund, the fight over who would hold the funds and how<br />

the funds would be dispersed began. The task <strong>for</strong>ce finished its work in 2017, offering<br />

recommendations that the youth fund focus on supporting community groups doing work in the<br />

most needy communities, specifically those who typically do not have access to large public or<br />

philanthropic investments. The task <strong>for</strong>ce was co-chaired by Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle CEO<br />

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Adam Jackson and John Brothers of the T. Rowe Price foundation, and also featured a diverse<br />

cross section of youth, elders, nonprofit professionals, and representatives from the government<br />

who were installed as non-voting, ex officio members. This task <strong>for</strong>ce created recommendations<br />

that the youth fund should focus on capacity building <strong>for</strong> grassroots institutions, an area seen as<br />

essential but often underinvested in by philanthropic institutions. The task <strong>for</strong>ce also stated that a<br />

local Black foundation, Associated Black Charities (ABC), should hold the fund and administer<br />

the creation of a grant review team made up of a representative cross section of Baltimorians whose<br />

task would be to evaluate grant proposals, rank them and decide where the money was allocated.<br />

ABC was selected because they were the only institution in the region with expertise in and an<br />

explicit focus on racial equity. Larger pots of money were reserved explicitly <strong>for</strong> organizations<br />

which submitted cooperative proposals, creating incentives <strong>for</strong> cooperation rather than incentives<br />

<strong>for</strong> competition among organizations. Finally, the task <strong>for</strong>ce stated that institutions should not have<br />

to be 501c3 nonprofit organizations to receive funds, and recognized that <strong>for</strong>mal nonprofit<br />

incorporation is a barrier to entry <strong>for</strong> many community-based youth service providers. The<br />

ordinance which established the youth fund was a codification of the task <strong>for</strong>ce recommendations.<br />

The fund began its work in 2018. ABC subcontracted to a Black consulting firm, Frontline<br />

Solutions, which included Black consultants with experience working in Baltimore (Annie E.<br />

Casey Foundation) and handled much of the technical assistance. First, in<strong>for</strong>mational meetings<br />

were held throughout the city, preparing potential grantees on how to write their proposals and<br />

explaining the evaluation criteria <strong>for</strong> this grant, which would be different than traditional grants.<br />

It would include an explicit racial equity lens and focus on capacity building <strong>for</strong> typically<br />

underfunded grassroots institutions. After the RFP went out, a call <strong>for</strong> individuals to serve on the<br />

grant review team also went out, offering a competitive hourly salary <strong>for</strong> serving as a citizen grant<br />

reviewer. The reviewers were selected with an emphasis on geographic and racial equity, which<br />

made the review team reflective of the demographic of the city. Other priorities included nonprofit<br />

experience, social justice advocacy experience, and personal experience, such as providing or<br />

receiving youth services. After reviewing 400 proposals, totaling over 70 million dollars in<br />

requested funds, the grant reviewers ranked proposals based upon the selected criteria. After<br />

combining the rankings, the portfolio of institutions was examined by the youth fund and it<br />

announced 65 organizations <strong>for</strong> funding (Associated Black Charities, 2018).<br />

Jackson Model - People’s Assembly<br />

While falling more into the space of “participatory planning,” the model from Jackson,<br />

Mississippi must be included, as it served in part as inspiration <strong>for</strong> the Baltimore model.<br />

Jackson, Mississippi may appear as an unlikely model <strong>for</strong> progressive government in<br />

America, yet its current progressive political leadership is a reflection of decades of grassroots<br />

organizing. In 2013, decades after coming to Mississippi from Detroit as a member of the Republic<br />

of New Africa, progresive lawyer Chokwe Lumumba was elected mayor of Jackson. The victory<br />

was a victory not just <strong>for</strong> him, but also <strong>for</strong> the powerful civil society <strong>for</strong>ces which brought him to<br />

the mayor’s seat, specifically the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and Cooperation Jackson.<br />

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After Chokwe’s death in 2014, his son, Chokwe Antar Lumumba, was elected in 2017 and tasked<br />

with the mandate to continue his father’s legacy of engaging in governing from the perspective of<br />

enhancing Black community self-determination.<br />

As opposed to the Porto Alegre model, which sought to use a “participatory” process to<br />

disempower civil society groups in the political process, Jackson’s “People’s Assembly” is run by<br />

a civil society group and seeks to be cultivated by civil society groups in the name of empowering<br />

individuals, specifically the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, which uses the assembly to purvey<br />

its message on radical Black self-determination to the government (Bragg, 2017). Similarly, while<br />

tied to the government currently in power, the assembly’s attempt to resist being cast as a tool to<br />

“manufacture consent” <strong>for</strong> the contemporary government and instead serving grassroots desires<br />

was to be interfaced with those in power in a deep, structural way. In interviews with government<br />

officials and People’s Assembly participants, the structure was shown to be a container <strong>for</strong> a less<br />

instrumentalized vision of participatory governance, where deep conversation and mutual<br />

education can take place:<br />

“Akil Bakari, the co-chair of the mayor's transition team, maintains that despite Omari's<br />

detailed speech peeling through every element of the mayor's plan, there has to be a clear<br />

understanding and distinction that the people's assembly is not married to Lumumba in<br />

particular, and would continue even if he was not in office.<br />

"(The people's assembly) is totally independent and autonomous of the City of Jackson,"<br />

Bakari told the Jackson Free Press a couple days after the assembly. "It's going to exist in<br />

function regardless of who's in the mayor's office.<br />

"Obviously, we like to have a good relationship with whoever is there, and we just happen<br />

to have a relationship with the one that's there now, but the whole intent and purposes of<br />

it is to create and build people power independent of any political party or whoever is in<br />

the mayor's office."<br />

Bakari is also part of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, a "radical" self-determination<br />

movement that the mayor's father, <strong>for</strong>mer Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, started. Its hallmark<br />

principles include a demand <strong>for</strong> reparations <strong>for</strong> slavery in the U.S. and the creation of an<br />

independent black nation in the Deep South.<br />

The MXGM believes in people's assemblies as a democratic tool.<br />

"The Assemblies are organized as expressions of participatory or direct democracy," the<br />

MXGM website reads, "wherein there is guided facilitation and agenda setting provided<br />

by the committees that compose the People's Task Force, but no preordained hierarchy."<br />

Bakari said this first assembly was more introductory <strong>for</strong> people who are unfamiliar with<br />

this process. "What we really want to do is educate people around what participatory<br />

governance looks like, democracy, budgeting," Bakari said. "Upcoming assemblies will be<br />

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around those concepts and ideas." He also clarified that the mayor was invited, although<br />

he did not attend because he was at what Lumumba describes as a "mayor's school"<br />

conference at Harvard University.<br />

In his office, Mayor Lumumba spoke to the Jackson Free Press about the assembly, which<br />

started under his father's city-council tenure with an intent he says is centered around an<br />

idea that he and his sister, Rukia Lumumba, repeat often: "Three minutes on a microphone<br />

does not make community participation." In city council meetings, citizens who wish to<br />

voice their concerns on an agenda item during the public-hearing session are limited to<br />

three minutes' speaking time.” (Bragg, 2017)<br />

For the first time, in July 2019, the city of Jackson partnered with the Jackson-based<br />

People’s Advocacy Institute to engage in PB activity through the People’s Assembly. While not<br />

much has been written around the specifics of the activity, members of LBS made the trip to<br />

Jackson to experience the activity firsthand. While the activity did involve a game, the game<br />

seemed to be designed in a manner quite different than the gamification described by Lerner.<br />

Rather than gamifying a decision on how to spend a small part of the city’s budget, citizens were<br />

presented with the entire civic budget, with full details on insurance, interest, and obligations and<br />

were given money to express how they would want the discretionary funds allocated. This would<br />

seem to violate several of Lerner’s principals, including the “magic circle,” where players are<br />

taught to abstract their decisions from the real world, as well as Lerner’s injunction to not overload<br />

participants with too much in<strong>for</strong>mation up front. While Lerner feared this would overwhelm<br />

“players,” showing the real world trade-offs on budgetary spending <strong>for</strong> an entire civil budget<br />

seemed to galvanize the players to engage in the game thoughtfully and creatively. Rather than<br />

creating elaborate advocacy campaigns <strong>for</strong> relatively small allocations, as was the case in Chicago,<br />

the game was designed to produce data which would go directly into the city’s budgetary decision<br />

<strong>for</strong> the entire budget. Players were given “just in time” in<strong>for</strong>mation, as those who were overseeing<br />

the game were on hand to explain when players’ decisions may have violated budgeting laws.<br />

While Lerner may have viewed this as poorly designed gameplay, showing citizens what tradeoffs<br />

were possible and which were not may have been an essential pedagogical tool which<br />

answered citizens’ critical questions on why money simply can not be shifted around on a massive<br />

civic scale.<br />

By refusing to use a “magic circle” theory of disembodiment, the game located the citizens<br />

of Jackson in a specific time and place and gave them control over the budgetary decisions which<br />

would affect their entire city. This gave citizens material stakes in the process of playing the game<br />

which seemed qualitatively different than the experience individuals felt when discussing small<br />

pots of money tied to specific allocations. The motivation <strong>for</strong> playing becomes different, as there<br />

is no possibility of getting personal “pet projects” funded. Instead, you are providing in<strong>for</strong>mation<br />

to be aggregated by the city and included in budgetary decisions. The entire process shows the<br />

value of attentive and well-trained technical assistance staff and being able to guide people through<br />

this complex game. It also shows the value of the reservoir of public support the regime in Jackson,<br />

Mississippi has built up over decades of grassroots organizing and electoral political campaigns.<br />

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Best Principals<br />

An analysis of the Baltimore City Children and Youth Fund reflects many of the lessons<br />

previously outlined in this chapter, lessons one could consider “best practices,” though given the<br />

necessity of accounting <strong>for</strong> geographic and community specificity may make the term “best<br />

principals” more appropriate.<br />

l Resource Redistribution- While property tax dollars are typically seen as going towards<br />

schools, Baltimore’s budget shifts money largely toward policing and depends on the state<br />

of Maryland <strong>for</strong> education dollars. As such, the youth fund can be seen as a redistribution<br />

of resources from policing to youth services.<br />

l Bottom Up Political Agitation- Ballot initiatives are often approved by Baltimore voters<br />

by default. Nevertheless, by having the initiative go to the ballot box, it created a public<br />

mandate <strong>for</strong> the changes the youth fund instituted.<br />

l Community Outreach - Democratic Impulses Over Technocratic Focus- By not only having<br />

outreach meetings but ones with a focus on having credible folks in the community<br />

translate community democratic impulses into demands which could withstand<br />

technocratic scrutiny, the youth fund helped create a degree of trust in community.<br />

l Coupling the process with Robust Administrative Re<strong>for</strong>m- By having the ordinance be a<br />

continuation of the task <strong>for</strong>ce recommendation, the youth fund has written into law certain<br />

requirements on how these funds shall be allocated, which inoculate the fund from being<br />

siphoned off <strong>for</strong> other governmental needs. By placing the money first into ABC and then<br />

mandating the creation of a new governmental intermediary, the goal is to prevent other<br />

governmental entities from holding the funds, and thus being tempted to spend down some<br />

of the funds on other priorities.<br />

l Protecting the Process from Capture of Civil Society Organizations- By demanding the<br />

fund stay out of the purview of the Family League and Strong City, the fund centered the<br />

grant review team as the key decision maker on grants. By ensuring robust conflict on<br />

interest protections on the grant review team and ensuring the institution selecting the grant<br />

review team, ABC and the Frontline Solutions consultants they hired, both have explicit<br />

experience with using racial equity as an institutional lens and help guide the grant review<br />

team selection to prevent too many established “community association” types from<br />

dominating the grant selection team, a dynamic which was not present with the Chicago<br />

selection committee.<br />

l An Explicit Focus on Racial Equity- The demographics of Porto Alegre and Rosario may<br />

have been connected to the (relative) success of their PB processes. However, their inability<br />

to use a race-conscious lens limits the applicability of their processes outside of their<br />

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specific locations. Baltimore, a majority Black city with an established rescue disparity<br />

between Black and white service providers, demands an upfront racially conscious<br />

approach to PB. One need only look at the guiding principles of the Baltimore City<br />

Children and Youth Fund to see how the BCYF is directly addressing questions of racial<br />

equity:<br />

“1) Racial Equity: The entire grant review process must be built on racial equity. We<br />

should clearly identify and directly address how society’s power structures show up in the<br />

operation of the Proposal Review Panel, including how assumptions about race may figure<br />

into the decision-making process. Specifically, white people should not dominate or drive<br />

the conversation. Additionally, the evaluation of different programs should include a basic<br />

understanding and appreciation of the cultural resources and assets within each<br />

community.<br />

2) Intergenerational Leadership: In the West we often greet each other by saying, “How<br />

are you doing?” The Maasai people of East Africa greet each other by asking, “How are<br />

the children?” This greeting represents the idea that the well-being of the children defines<br />

the well-being of the community. The purpose of the Fund is to help the whole city of<br />

Baltimore to embrace and live out the worldview embodied in this Maasai greeting.<br />

Specifically, the well-being of our children is everyone’s responsibility. The Proposal<br />

Review Panel must include youth leaders along with adults. Having different generations<br />

work together will reflect how our entire community must work together to improve the<br />

quality of life <strong>for</strong> our young people.<br />

3) Community Ownership: The purpose of the Fund is to provide the communities typically<br />

seen as merely recipients of services with equal, authentic decision-making power to<br />

disperse the Fund’s resources. This means that the members of the Proposal Review Panel<br />

should reflect the totality of our community. Specifically, the Proposal Review Panel must<br />

include a variety of people who are highly committed to the communities they serve.<br />

4) Collective Decision-Making: “Gatekeeping,” when one person has too much power in<br />

a decision-making process, marginalizes the people and communities who are most hurt<br />

by structural racism. Gatekeepers can use their power to circumvent community<br />

accountability and limit access to power and resources. There<strong>for</strong>e, the Proposal Review<br />

Panel must structure its decision-making process to be collective, not individual.<br />

Specifically, the Proposal Review Panel will work together truly as a group to make<br />

decisions. (Baltimore City Children and Youth Fund, 2018)<br />

l A Focus on Institutional Capacity Building (i.e. Sustainability Beyond the Funding Period)<br />

- BCYF attempts to leave the intuitions they fund stronger than they left them.<br />

Understanding the nature of these processes means the grantees can not depend on<br />

perpetual infusion of large amounts of public dollars. By creating funding <strong>for</strong> capacity<br />

building, BCYF attempts to help institutions acquire a diversity of funding streams and<br />

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develop a plan <strong>for</strong> institutional sustainability.<br />

While the BCYF did many things well, some places where the BCYF had issues were also places<br />

where other PB projects were limited, showing a need to understand these dynamics <strong>for</strong> future<br />

“best principals.”<br />

l Preparing <strong>for</strong> Resistance from Political Bureaucracy use to Unilateral Control - The<br />

Chicago example proves that, even if those using PB are middle-class white professionals,<br />

the sheer fact that individuals are challenging the bureaucratic status quo will create<br />

resistance. BCFY has also been subject to bureaucratic misunderstanding, necessitating<br />

increased communication and relationship management between the youth fund and<br />

government bureaucracy.<br />

l Balancing the need <strong>for</strong> gaining popular credibility and buy in with preventing PB capture<br />

by “Professional Citizens” and established civil society - Porto Alegre essentially doubled<br />

down isolating civil society institutions from the established PB process, leading the PB to<br />

being a tool to potentially undermine the organized left. The BCYF was led by a political<br />

push from the bottom up, and was designed to not allow those <strong>for</strong>ces to dominate the<br />

process and to create a genuine space <strong>for</strong> uplifting grassroots services providers.<br />

Continuing to balance political support <strong>for</strong> PB while allowing PB to be seen as a genuine<br />

reflection of grassroots work and not a selection by a political active few is a balance all<br />

PB processes must walk.<br />

Baicchi and Ganuza conclude their book with a list of questions, what they call “counterfactual<br />

standards” by which we can judge and evaluate PB proposals. They conclude that there are lists of<br />

administrative and deliberative standards <strong>for</strong> which PB should strive. They ultimately conclude<br />

that toolkits and manuals focus too much on the communicative and interpersonal elements of PB<br />

which are compatible with and useful <strong>for</strong> the neoliberalism project (i.e. Lerner), but the ultimate<br />

goal is to establish a sense of community sovereignty which resists the enclosure of communities<br />

in the false scarcity of market logic and racial capitalism :<br />

“Moving this critical framework to participatory budgeting and democratic innovations<br />

gives us several counterfactual standards against which we can judge specific experiences<br />

and their procedures:<br />

1. What is the intensity of the participation? Who actually participates? Do features of<br />

participatory spaces prevent these processes<br />

from being open to all?<br />

2. How inclusive is the deliberation? In addition to being present at assemblies, do all<br />

citizens “deliberate”? Are there systematic biases<br />

about who speaks and who decides? Is the technical language made accessible to all?<br />

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3. How democratic is the deliberation? What is the quality of decisions emanating from<br />

the participatory process? Do participants feel free to openly debate or discuss the rules<br />

governing discussions?20<br />

The scholarship on participatory budgeting in Brazil and other countries has addressed<br />

the communicative dimension quite carefully, and research ef<strong>for</strong>ts continue to focus on<br />

“participant surveys.” But self-rule does not subsist only in communication. The second<br />

facet of participatory budgeting is the coupling of PB assemblies with administrative<br />

structures. We refer to this as the sovereignty dimension...<br />

1. The primacy of the participatory <strong>for</strong>ums. If the participatory <strong>for</strong>ums are not the exclusive<br />

point of contact between government and citizen, how important of a point of contact are<br />

they? Are there other ways of accessing government resources, and how important are<br />

those?<br />

2. The scope and importance of administrative issues that are subjected to participation.<br />

How much of the local budget is subjected to<br />

participation, and how important is that budget to social justice ef<strong>for</strong>ts?<br />

3. The degree of actual participatory power over the budget. Are there institutionalized,<br />

direct, and transparent links between participation and government action? What if any<br />

administrative re<strong>for</strong>ms are undertaken to prepare the state apparatus to receive<br />

participatory inputs? What discretion do elected officials, technical staff, and bureaucrats<br />

have over the decisions once they are made?<br />

4. Participation’s self-regulating, or constitutional aspect. To what extent are participants<br />

able to determine the rules of participation; to debate and determine social justice criteria<br />

that will order the process; to determine the reach of participatory influence over<br />

government affairs?<br />

If we were to take our sets of questions about communication and sovereignty to today’s<br />

“how-to” manuals and to currently circulating blueprints <strong>for</strong> participatory budgeting, the<br />

result would be to show that processes seldom include anything but the communicative<br />

dimension.<br />

Toolkits and blueprints generally only include the first dimension, having little to say about<br />

the second, which is understood to depend entirely on local implementation. The real<br />

democratic re<strong>for</strong>ms and connectors between communication and state actions are<br />

frequently “black-boxed.” This does not mean, however, that the sovereignty dimension is<br />

necessarily missing in every experiment, but only that it is largely contingent on the will of<br />

local representatives. Toolkits <strong>for</strong> global implementation often emphasize the yearly cycle<br />

of meetings, rules <strong>for</strong> open and transparent assemblies, and how to carry<br />

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out voting procedures on proposals. They say little about how re<strong>for</strong>ms enable those<br />

proposals’ compatibility with administrative logics. These toolkits fail to describe<br />

mechanisms that would allow participants to define the terms of participation or how to<br />

make those the primary interfaces.<br />

Indeed, looking then at the many global cases of PB, we find a commonality around<br />

the set of meetings to discuss investments, but these are embedded within diverse national<br />

and political contexts that dictate the overall priority and purpose of the participatory<br />

budget. Normally the focus is on citizen apathy rather than social justice or political<br />

trans<strong>for</strong>mation. Thus local projects are rarely successful at implementing sovereignty<br />

re<strong>for</strong>ms. As we have already expressed, we worry that PB becomes a participatory<br />

experience that leaves citizens thinking collectively about trivial issues from the standpoint<br />

of the administration of power, as has so often been the case with traditional participatory<br />

devices.26 And as some recent research has shown, this is happening in all kinds of<br />

participatory experiences.27 From this context the deep skepticism of citizens about their<br />

ability to influence policy making is justified, because the prevailing division of powers<br />

between public authorities and citizens is far from being challenged.28” (Baicchi and<br />

Ganuza, 2017).<br />

Baicchi and Ganuza write a balanced text which attempts to value what the <strong>for</strong>m of PB can<br />

be, but has fidelity to the power relations which create the contours of what PB actually becomes<br />

when deployed. That Baicchi and Ganuza end with a discussion on sovereignty is interesting, as<br />

the discussion of sovereignty among Afrikan people is extremely robust and has led to constant<br />

conversation and political organizing around the ultimate plan to support Black community selfdetermination:<br />

reparations.<br />

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Works Cited<br />

“2019 Grants.” The Abell Foundation - Working To Enhance The Quality Of Life In Baltimore And<br />

In Maryland., 2019, www.abell.org/grants/archive/2019?page=1.<br />

The Aaron Straus and Lillie Straus Foundation, Inc.: Citizens of Tomorrow, 1926-1996. Aaron<br />

Straus and Lillie Straus Foundation, Inc., 1997.<br />

Armit, Ian, et al. “ A Chance to Succeed: Economic Revitalization of Atlanta’s East Lake<br />

Community.” Publications , Terry College of Bussiness - Univeristy of Georgia , 2008,<br />

www.terry.uga.edu/media/documents/selig/east_lake_study.pdf.<br />

“The Arts.” 2019 Annual Report, Bloomberg Philanthropies, 2019,<br />

annualreport.bloomberg.org/arts/. Associated Black Charities . “Baltimore City Children and<br />

Youth Fund Report to Mayor and City Counci.” Baltimore City Council , 2018,<br />

www.baltimorecitycouncil.com/sites/default/files/files/BCYF%20Report%20to%20Mayor%20a<br />

nd%20City%20Council_Submitted%20October%209-%202018-%20Final%20(2).pdf.<br />

Baiocchi, Gianpaolo, and Ernesto Ganuza. Popular Democracy: the Paradox of Participation.<br />

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Stan<strong>for</strong>d University Press, 2017.<br />

BALTIMORE CHILDREN AND YOUTH FUND. “About.” About, Associated Black Charities ,<br />

2018, bcyfund.org/about/.<br />

Banisky, Sandy. “Aggressive Abell Foundation Puts Its Mark on City From Norplant to Schools,<br />

It Influences Social Policy.” Baltimoresun.com, 24 Oct. 2018, www.baltimoresun.com/news/bsxpm-1993-02-07-1993038001-story.html.<br />

Originally published 02/07/93.<br />

Barbic, Kari. “Enoch Pratt.” Philantrophy Roundtable , 2018,<br />

www.philanthropyroundtable.org/almanac/people/hall-of-fame/detail/enoch-pratt.<br />

Bragg, Ko. “Hot and Collective: Inside the People's Assembly.” Hot and Collective: Inside the<br />

People's Assembly | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS, 2017,<br />

www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2017/dec/06/hot-and-collective-inside-peoples-assembly/.<br />


2017.<br />

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Culver, L. Margaretta. A History of the Baltimore Association <strong>for</strong> the Improvement of the<br />

Condition of the Poor. (from Its Foundation in 1849 to Its Federation with the Charity<br />

Organization Society in 1902) [Baltimore]. Culver, 1923, pp. 1–123, A History of the Baltimore<br />

Association <strong>for</strong> the Improvement of the Condition of the Poor. (from Its Foundation in 1849 to Its<br />

Federation with the Charity Organization Society in 1902) [Baltimore].<br />

Duboise, W.E.B. Economic Cooperation Amoung Negro Americas, 1907,<br />

scua.library.umass.edu/digital/dubois/dubois12.pdf.<br />

Duden, Rachel. “The Baltimore Summer Funding Collaborative: An Origin Story.” The Harry and<br />

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