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Budgeting For Equity: How Can Participatory Budgeting Advance Equity In The United States?, Madeleine Pape, Josh Lerner Oct 2016

Budgeting For Equity: How Can Participatory Budgeting Advance Equity In The United States?, Madeleine Pape, Josh Lerner

Journal of Public Deliberation

Participatory budgeting (PB) has expanded dramatically in the United States (US) from a pilot process in Chicago’s 49th ward in 2009 to over 50 processes in a dozen cities in 2015. Over this period, scholars, practitioners, and advocates have made two distinct but related claims about its impacts: that it can revitalize democracy and advance equity. In practice, however, achieving the latter has often proven challenging. Based on interviews with PB practitioners from across the US, we argue that an equity-driven model of PB is not simply about improving the quality of deliberation or reducing barriers to participation. While ...