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Although citizen engagement is a core public service value, few public administrators receive training on how to share leadership with people outside the government.Participatory Budgeting in the United States serves as a primer for those looking to understand a classic example of participatory governance, engaging local citizens in examining budgetary constraints and priorities before making recommendations to local government. Utilizing case studies and an original set of interviews with community members, elected officials, and city employees, this book provides a rare window onto the participatory budgeting process through the words and experiences of the very individuals involved. The central themes that emerge from these fascinating and detailed cases focus on three core areas: creating the participatory budgeting infrastructure; increasing citizen participation in participatory budgeting; and assessing and increasing the impact of participatory budgeting. This book provides students, local government elected officials, practitioners, and citizens with a comprehensive understanding of participatory budgeting and straightforward guidelines to enhance the process of civic engagement and democratic values in local communities.
Are you frustrated and confused over the way things are going in our Great Nation? I certainly am and wish to share with you what I consider is our best chance in the 2012 elections to get us back on track to restore this once Great Republic. This guide suits this format to allow portability so all of us can discuss at every opportunity. There is a desperate need to change how Congress does the people's business in Washington. You feel the same if you accept certain polls indicating their popularity level at around 10-12 %. First we must eliminate the present culture in Congress by instituting term limits. This is the only way to remove the old dogs, with their insidious policies, who run The Senate and The House of Representatives. Once this is accomplished, only then can we force the new or incumbent Congress to alter how political campaigns are funded. We must return to a system where your favorite elected official actually speaks in your behalf, as opposed to following mandates dictated by special interests. There is a way to make these changes, if we have the will to cause it to happen. I strongly believe this is our last chance to re-set our course before Government gets so out of control we arrive at the eternal abyss and end up in the ash heap of history. Can we return to our once Great Republic by breaking free from the bonds that tie us to large banking and corporate interests? It has been said that a free press is the forth branch of Government, designed to keep the The Executive. Judicial and Legislative Branches under constant scrutiny. The so called current established media has failed to fulfill this responsibility causing us to doubt them and also question the sincerity of our leaders. Remember we do not have to "Throw all The Bums Out" in 2012, all we have to do is hold their feet to the fire and force them to modify their behavior.
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