3 More Days to Support NOLA CPP on Global Giving

We are approaching the end of the April Open Challenge, and there are only 3 more days to support NOLA CPP. We still need more donations and more donors. If you have donated, thank you very much for your support. If you have not yet donated, please support us now! Every contribution, not matter how large or small, gets us closer to our goal.

To make your contribution, please follow these simple steps:

1) go to www.globalgiving.org/projects/new-orleans-citizen-participation-project

2) select the amount you would like to donate or enter your own amount

3) click on the large orange “DONATE” button and then follow the directions to pay with a credit card or PayPal

4) tell all your friends to donate too!

Thank you for your support!


Participatory Budgeting

Here is a story about participatory budgeting in Columbia that was on NPR yesterday. Click here for a link to the story with audio.

Participatory Budgeting Is Music To Medellin’s Poor

by Alex Schmidt

April 20, 2011

Colombia’s image is still tainted by its long and violent drug war, but its second largest city is practicing one of the most innovative forms of city democracy anywhere.

Medellin is one of few big cities in the world to have successfully implemented a participatory budgeting system: Citizens define priorities, and public money is allocated accordingly.

Jhon Jaime Sanches, 26, grew up in the hills of Medellin, under the legacy of Pablo Escobar’s violent drug cartel.

“Militias would come to our school and tell us we had to take up arms to make revolution,” Sanches says. “I liked the idea that we needed to find a solution to change things — but what I didn’t believe is that we needed to do it with violence.”

So Sanches found another way: He started a band. But his hip-hop group Son Bata is more than that — over the years it has grown into a social service force against the crushing poverty of his neighborhood.

Son Bata’s base of operations is a colorful cultural center. It stands out from the background in Medellin, where ramshackle homes pile on top of each other, and open sewers pour down nearly vertical streets. Within its walls, hundreds of children find an escape through free music classes, and working musicians from the slums get help finding performing jobs.

“For me, it’s everything,” says Ingris Joanna Jaramillo, who works at the center. “Son Bata is my life. When I started being part of Son Bata is when I started to dream.”

Part of what has helped the group is Medellin’s process of participatory budgeting, which divides the city into small neighborhoods. Residents allocate part of the city budget to health centers, college scholarships and youth music groups that have sprung up in Medellin.

Sanches gets 30 percent of his operating budget through the system.

“With participatory budgeting, Son Bata has contracted with professors,” Sanches says. “We bought instruments. We are creating a music studio.”

Participatory budgeting originated in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1989. It’s 5 percent of the city budget in Medellin, one of the largest cities in the world to have successfully adopted it. Sanches says it’s not enough to make deep structural changes — but by most measures, the system has been a success.

Alberto Diaz-Cayeros of the University of California, San Diego, has been studying the ways such systems take root in Mexico. He says there is not a lot of research about it, but he knows that historical factors have to be just right, like they were in Medellin.

“This happened in [a violent city], in a deep crisis, where a mayor came in without any connections to established political parties, with a new vision of how to run local government,” Diaz-Cayeros says.

That mayor, Sergio Fajardo, is now running for governor of the Colombian state of Antioquia, home to Medellin. He worries that another challenge remains: keeping citizens engaged.

“In the communities, people may get tired,” he says. “You have to make sure you mix things up, that you keep the flame alive.”

For Son Bata’s Sanches, at least, the flame shows little sign of fading. “Participatory budgeting is a very valuable way for the youth to understand how, with a resource, I can try to solve the problems of my community,” he says.

This budgeting process didn’t create Sanches’ group — Son Bata existed a year before it even came into effect. But it did make city money easier to get, for him and dozens of youth music groups in Medellin. Energetic idealists, in any city, may be unlikely to pass up that kind of opportunity.

Global Giving – Donate Today

Thank you so much to those of you who have so generously supported the NOLA CPP in our April Global Giving fundraising challenge. For those of you who have not yet contributed (and remember, even amounts as small as $10 help us tremendously), please consider doing so today, because Tuesday, April 19 is bonus day and Global Giving will match your contribution! Please take advantage of this one-time opportunity!

To make your contribution, please follow these simple steps:

1) go to http://www.globalgiving.org/projects/new-orleans-citizen-participation-project

2) select the amount you would like to donate or enter your own amount

3) click on the large orange “DONATE” button and then follow the directions to pay with a credit card or PayPal

4) tell all your friends to donate too!

We are over halfway to our goal, and we need your help to meet the challenge! thanks.


CPC’s NPP Process Update

At its meeting earlier this week, the City Planning Commission indicated that they were still waiting for the mayor’s appointments to the NPP Task Force and his approval of the proposed meeting dates before announcing the formal launch of the process to produce the final version of the NPP/CPP. CPC stated that they expect to get this information from the Mayor’s Office by May 1.

City Planning also said that there is a possibility that the budget for the NPP process may get cut from $60,000 to $30,000. The NOLA CPP team believes that it is important that NPP process is fully funded in order to ensure a robust process. If the funding is cut, this could mean less outreach, less support from consultants, and no facilitator for the NPP Task Force. We urge that the full funding allocated by City Council be provided for the NPP process.

Support NOLA CPP with Global Giving

We have been given a wonderful opportunity, and we just a need a little help from you to take advantage of it!

The NOLA Citizen Participation Project of Committee for a Better New Orleans has been selected to participate in Global Giving’s April Open Challenge.  Global Giving is a website that facilitates fundraising for nonprofits all over the world.  If the NOLA CPP page does well in the Challenge, CBNO will earn a permanent spot on the page.  This means we will be able to bring global attention to New Orleans’ issues and collect donations from funders worldwide. Your donations will help leverage other funds.

If you believe in the work of the NOLA CPP, we need you to help support us now. Any contribution, large or small, helps us reach our goal of getting 50 donors in one month.

The challenge runs through April 30.  We need your help!  Please make a contribution to this project.  All funds collected from this campaign will go directly to support the work of completing the NOLA CPP.

To make your contribution, please follow these simple steps:

1)  go to www.globalgiving.org/projects/new-orleans-citizen-participation-project

2)  select the amount you would like to donate or enter your own amount

3)  click on the large orange “DONATE” button and then follow the directions to pay with a credit card, PayPal or check

4)  forward this email and tell all your friends to donate too!

CBNO and the NOLA CPP would not exist without dedicated community members like you.  Whatever form your support takes, from making donations to attending meetings and events, we truly appreciate your continued interest and engagement with NOLA CPP.  Thank you!


City Council Redistricting Meetings

City Council is going to hold a series of public meetings on City Council redistricting. City Council will host a citywide meeting on Thursday and a series of District meetings over of the next month. Here is information on the Citywide Redistricting Meeting:

Citywide Council Redistricting Meeting

Thursday, April 14th


City Hall – Council Chambers


Here is the list of District Redistricting Meetings. All of the meetings are from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. You can visit the City Council calendar for more information on these meetings.


District ‘D’ Redistricting Meeting

Tuesday, April 19th

Gentilly Presbyterian Church – 3708 Gentilly Boulevard


District ‘D’ Redistricting Meeting

Wednesday, April 20th

St. Maria Goretti Church – 7300 Crowder Boulevard


District ‘B’ Redistricting Meeting

Thursday, April 21st

Grace Episcopal Church – 3700 Canal Street


District ‘C’ Redistricting Meeting

Monday, April 25th

Holy Angels Church – 3500 St. Claude Avenue


District ‘B’ Redistricting Meeting

Tuesday, April 26th

Sacred Heart Nims Arts Center – 3901 St. Charles Avenue


District ‘A’ Redistricting Meeting

Monday, May 9th

Myra Clare Rogers Chapel – 1229 Broadway Street


District ‘C’ Redistricting Meeting

Tuesday, May 10th

Delgado Community College – 2600 General Meyer Avenue


District ‘A’ Redistricting Meeting

Thursday, May 12th

First Baptist Church – 5290 Canal Boulevard


District ‘E’ Redistricting Meeting

Tuesday, May 17th

St. Maria Goretti Church – 7300 Crowder Boulevard


District ‘E’ Redistricting Meeting

Thursday, May 19th

All Souls Episcopal Church – 5500 St. Claude Avenue

Latest Newsletter

Here is the link to the latest Newsletter from NOLA CPP. There is information on how to support the NOLA CPP through Global Giving.