Why bring Participatory Budgeting to Oregon?
Reason #1: Participatory Budgeting has the potential to reinvent the relationship between the People of Oregon and their Government
We envision Oregon as a multi-cultural and multi-racial Participatory Democracy – where the relationship between the People of Oregon and their government is based on trauma-informed community engagement, targeted universalism & a shared stewardship of the land; where the methods of democratic participation are fun, liberatory, equitable and above all: inclusive.
What is trauma-informed community engagement & targeted universalism?
Only a Government that has an active and participatory community engagement plan can undo the trauma of racism, exclusion, and the painful legacies of Oregon’s history of white supremacy. We envision a government where the public engagement practices are open to all, yet centered on those historically oppressed, excluded, or ignored based on race, ethnicity, nationality, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability & citizenship status.
How could this be fun, liberatory and inclusive?
We believe that democratic participation is your inalienable right; one that we should all be able to exercise in fun, liberatory & accessible way; in a way that is reflective of the full diversity of the community.
Reason #2: Participatory Budgeting strengthens decision-making & only strong decision-making processes strengthen Oregon
We envision a future where government decision-making is scaled from the bottom-up and led by community expertise; where government structures and processes are justly reconstructed, liberatory, responsive, transparent and accountable to an informed & empowered public.
What defines "Liberatory Structures" or a "Just Reconstruction"?
These are decision-making processes that have been reconstructed according to the needs of those who have been oppressed, excluded, or ignored. These are government bodies made dynamic and equitable by their ability to integrate civic education, community-led research and grassroots advocacy.
How do we have transparent budgeting and accountable governance?
We are talking about a system where the allocation of public funds are deligated through the creation of transparent, simplified, co-created processes. These transformed spaces and institutions become responsive and accountable to the needs of all communities through collaboration, cooperation, and mutually beneficial partnerships.
Reason #3: Participatory Budgeting builds inter-community bonds amongst Oregonians
We envision a future where all of Oregon’s diverse Peoples know their power, have economic justice, the democratic mechanisms to shape outcomes or invest in their communities, and where their civic contributions & expertise are widely acknowledged.
What is economic justice?
Economic Justice is when we are all economically secure enough that we may participate equitably in civic life and democratic self-governance.
How can we build community power across our diverse interests?
Let's begin with an Oregon where all communities have their legacies and roots uplifted and their experiences and knowledge treated as expertise. In this Oregon – where white narratives are decentered and there is widespread acknowledgement that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color have and always will be an essential part of Oregon’s history, present and future – this Oregon knows its power. Power, or sometimes called Critical Consciousness, can be exercised in a real way (structural redistribution) to design, build and invest in ourselves through community-led participatory democratic processes.