As a student of global politics and civically engaged individual, I have always been interested in how public engagement can strengthen democracy. A few years ago, I came across a policy that I see as the ideal blend of my academic work and political activism: participatory budgeting (PB). PB is a local-level initiative that allows residents to decide how part of the budget is spent. Pioneered by Brazilians in Porto Alegre, PB is now present in every corner of the world. Luckily, I live in Chicago’s 49th Ward, the first place in the United States to adopt PB, which gives…

Raluca G. Pavel

PhD student in Global Politics interested in democratic practices and government transparency. Former political operative with a passion for local politics.

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