[act-ma] Reinventing Urban Democracy in New York and Somerville

Weinstock, Hannah Hannah_Weinstock at hks14.harvard.edu
Mon Apr 8 18:24:43 PDT 2013

Hi everyone,

This should be a really interesting event.  Would be great to see you there!


Hannah Weinstock
Masters in Public Policy Candidate
Harvard Kennedy School


Democracy Seminar Series


About the Series
The Ash Democracy Seminar Series brings distinguished speakers to Harvard Kennedy School to address critical challenges facing democratic governance. Unless otherwise noted, all seminars will take place at 124 Mt. Auburn, Suite 200-North from 4:10-5:30 p.m.

Upcoming Seminars:
April 17: Recognizing Public Value: Book Talk<http://t.ymlp288.net/bwyqadaqjqqadaujhataus/click.php> - Mark H. Moore, HKS

April 23, 11:30 am-1pm: Lunchtime Democracy Seminar<http://t.ymlp288.net/bwyyacaqjqqafaujhadaus/click.php> - Rob Reich, Standford University - Land Hall

April 25: China After the 18th Party Congress: Panel in Memorial of Rick Baum<http://t.ymlp288.net/bqssanaqjqqazaujhavaus/click.php> - Co-sponsored by the Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University

April 29: Urbanization in China Panel<http://t.ymlp288.net/bqsuagaqjqqaxaujhadaus/click.php> - Tony Saich, Daewoo Professor of International Affairs & Meg Rithmire, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School

Past Seminars:
January 28 (Harvard Gazette article): A Whisper to a Roar: Film Screening & Panel Discussion<http://t.ymlp288.net/bqseaiaqjqqaoaujhafaus/click.php> - Esraa Abdel Fattah, Egyptian Democratic Academy; Ben Moses, Director; Will Dobson, Slate Magazine, and Tarek Masoud, HKS

February 13: Waiting for Public Diplomacy 2.0: The Slow Digital Dawn in U.S. Public Diplomacy<http://t.ymlp288.net/bqsmadaqjqqaiaujhagaus/click.php> - Nicholas J. Cull, University of Southern California

Feb 28 (ASHCAST recording): The Unheavenly Chorus: Unequal Political Voice and the Broken Promise of American Democracy<http://t.ymlp288.net/bqsjazaqjqqavaujhakaus/click.php> - Kay Schlozman, Boston College; Sidney Verba, Harvard University; Henry E. Brady, University of California, Berkeley

Mar 13 (ASHCAST recording): When the State Speaks, What Should It Say? How Democracies Can Protect Expression and Promote Equality<http://t.ymlp288.net/bqsbakaqjqqanaujhafaus/click.php> - Corey Brettschneider, Brown University

April 3: The MoveOn Effect: The Unexpected Transformation of American Political Advocacy<http://t.ymlp288.net/bqshaiaqjqqanaujhapaus/click.php> - David Karpf, George Washington University

Watch recordings of other past full seminars and interviews with past speakers here»<http://t.ymlp288.net/bqswafaqjqqadaujhataus/click.php>

 Reinventing Urban Democracy in New York and Somerville
Joseph Curtatone
Mayor of Somerville, MA
Brad Lander
Council Member, New York City
Hollie Russon-Gilman
Ash Center Democracy Fellow

  Wednesday, April 10
4:10-5:30 p.m.
Starr Auditorium, Belfer Building, 2nd Floor, Harvard Kennedy School, 79 JFK St., Cambridge, MA

Co-sponsored by the Regional, State, Local & Tribal Governance Public Interest Council, HKS

What would happen if citizens got together to decide collectively how budgets are spent? Participatory budgeting began in Brazil, where it is used in more than 100 cities, and has just recently spread to the United States. Council Member Brad Lander helped to spearhead the efforts of eight New York City council members to put their capital budgets, totaling around $10 million, up to this democratic process. He will speak about the vision, benefits, and challenges of this exciting new experiment in urban democracy.
Somerville's Mayor Curtatone has also placed renewed emphasis on the importance of involving citizens in planning. Somerville's ResiStat program engages residents in forums in each of the city's seven wards, as well as with specific populations, multiple times each year. These forums provide opportunities for citizens to discuss neighborhood development, challenges, and solutions with city officials and with the Mayor. What impact have these forums had? How does citizen participation transform government? Mayor Curtatone will share his thoughts.s.

[cid:img_82476_2]Joseph Curtatone, as mayor of Somerville, MA, has successfully implemented a wide range of reforms and new programs that have earned the city many distinctions by regional and national organizations, including the designation by Boston Globe Magazine as “the best-run city in Massachusetts,” by America's Promise Alliance as one of the "100 Best Communities for Youth," and a winner of the 2009 "All America City" competition. Curtatone earned his bachelor's degree from Boston College in 1990, and a J.D. from New England School of Law in 1994. Prior to his election as mayor, he had served as an attorney in private practice and a volunteer assistant football coach at Somerville High School.

[cid:img_82476_3]Brad Lander is a New York City council member representing Brooklyn’s 39th District, and a leader on issues of affordable housing, livable communities, the environment, and public education. Named one of “Today's Social Justice Heroes” by The Nation magazine, Lander is co-chair of the Council’s Progressive Caucus and was one of the first council members to bring participatory budgeting to his district, giving residents the power to decide which projects to support with their tax dollars. Prior to serving in the City Council, Lander directed the Pratt Center for Community Development and the Fifth Avenue Committee, a nationally-recognized community development organization.

[cid:img_82476_4]Hollie Russon-Gilman is a Democracy Fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation where she works as a member of Harvard's Transparency Policy Project (TPP). For over two years, Russon-Gilman has supported the Transparency and Accountability Initiative, funded through the Open Society Foundation developing strategy with NGOs for the most effective ways to use Internet Communications (ICT) in making government transparent and accountable to its citizens.

Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
democracyseminar at ash.harvard.edu<mailto:democracyseminar at ash.harvard.edu>
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