The Madeleine Brand Show for January 12, 2012

Participatory budgeting: Putting tax dollars back in your hands

Gov. Jerry Brown Signs California Budget Cut Legislation

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California Gov. Jerry Brown points to a chart that shows dollar amounts in the millions that were cut from the State's budget following a bill signing on March 24, 2011, in Sacramento.

California is a state strapped for cash and in the middle of a serious budget crisis. But what if you, at a local level at least, could have a say in how your tax dollars are spent? A program known as 'participatory budgeting' could help with that. The program is currently used in New York and Chicago, and UCLA is holding a conference today to explain more about the practice that originated in Brazil.


Josh Lerner, director of the Participatory Budgeting Project

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