After we just completed an election season where democracy was under attack across the country, a movement has sprung up in New York City that seeks to strengthen rather than subvert involvement in the democratic process. It's called participatory budgeting.
Earlier this month, Mayor Michael Bloomberg presented New York City's Financial Plan for the next four years. It demonstrates a stark new reality: there is no large surplus of revenues, as there has been in past years.
New York City's budget crunch is the result of the recession brought on by excessive risk-taking on Wall Street and lax government regulation, not excessive spending or compensation for public workers.
Payments to retired government workers are coming at the expense of cutbacks in the city's classrooms. Talk about intergenerational injustice. The current New York City and New York State budget crises are hitting programs that build for the future at the expense of paying bills due today.