A new book by Josh Lerner, executive director the the North American Participatory Budgeting Project is the result of winning a new USA democracy award, coordinated by the Penn State Institute for Democracy. The Laurence and Lynne Brown Democracy Medal recognizes outstanding individuals, groups, and organizations that produce exceptional innovations to further democracy in the United States or around the world.
The inaugural medal winner, the Participatory Budgeting Project (PBP), is an innovative not-for-profit organisation that promotes "participatory budgeting," an inclusive process that empowers community members to make informed decisions about public spending. More than 46,000 people in communities across the United States have decided how to spend $45 million through programs that PBP helped spark over the last five years.
In Everyone Counts, PBP co-founder Josh Lerner provides a concise history of the organization’s origins and its vision, highlighting its real-world successes in fostering grassroots budgeting campaigns in such cities as New York, Boston, and Chicago. As more and more communities turn to participatory budgeting as a means of engaging citizens, prioritizing civic projects, and allocating local, state, and federal funding, this cogent volume will offer guidance and inspiration to others who want to transform democracy in the United States and elsewhere.
John Gastil, Director of the McCourtney Institute for Democracy said “The Participatory Budgeting Project exemplifies the essential features the award committee was looking for in its inaugural recipient. Participatory budgeting helps empower marginalized groups that do not normally take part in a process that is so critical for democratic life.”
- Everyone Counts is available to purchase as a book and e-book