Dec 23: The Participatory Budgeting Project with Joanna Duarte Laudon

Friday,  on our Joe Strummer Day segment at 5PM Jon Liedtke, Rockin’ Robbee and I explored the links between Occupy Windsor, in which all of us participated, and poverty and homelessness in Windsor. Being politically powerless and vulnerable to mental illness, addictions and poverty, homeless people are truly disadvantaged.  Because being in the park caused us to meet and interact with homeless people, we also came to learn that one bedroom social housing in this city is in short supply (4-5 year waiting list). As well, the earlier struggle this year over the building of a $77 million aquatic centre while poverty and homelessness exist seems obscene.

So the enquiry today on the program is how much say do citizens have in the prioritization of what is needed to meet the needs of people? If neighbourhoods could actually have a direct say in that process what could it look like? In Windsor, city council has initiated neighbourhood councils but few people have high hopes for the current structure which is yet to be determined since only one meeting has occurred so far in some wards.  

Click to find out how to access social housing in Windsor/Essex

I spoke with Joanna Duarte Laudon, a Project Coordinator for Toronto with the Participatory Budgeting Project based at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn NY.  (Facebook)

Click image for article on participatory budgeting

She has researched and facilitated public participation programs in Venezuela and her hometown of Toronto. In 2009 and 2010 she co-facilitated two participatory evaluations of Toronto Community Housing‘s PB process, working with a team of public housing tenants and staff to research and improve the process. Joanna has also worked with community organizations such as Barrio Nuevo, Manifesto Community Projects, and the Hispanic Development Council.

Our conversation began with a description of participatory budgeting (PB) and the New York based project she is a part of. She described PB as a “new model of democratic participation” rather than a “consultation” with limited involvement by citizens. She described how the PB process traces its roots to Porto Alegre, Brazil.

Suggested reading by Joanna Duarte Laudon

Also, at the 13:35 minute mark in the audio, we discussed the implications of the PB process for movement building for further involvement of citizens in the exercise of a true democracy – that is having a direct say in the management of our affairs. Getting involved in budget decision-making is a good way to start. 

Featured CD’s:

Click image for Joe Strummer Day info
Click image for more on this band

One thought on “Dec 23: The Participatory Budgeting Project with Joanna Duarte Laudon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.