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How Progressive Cities Can Reshape the World — And Democracy

How Progressive Cities Can Reshape the World — And Democracy

Oscar Reyes, Bertie Russell

“We’re living in extraordinary times that demand brave and creative solutions. If we’re able to imagine a different city, we’ll have the power to transform it.” – Ada Colau, Mayor of Barcelona.

On 24 May 2015, the citizen platform Barcelona en Comú was elected as the minority government of the city of Barcelona. Along with a number of other cities across Spain, this election was the result of a wave of progressive municipal politics across the country, offering an alternative to neoliberalism and corruption.

“To govern well, you must create new processes for obeying citizens’ demands.”

“This difference underpins the Barcelona experience. This isn’t a traditional socialist government that thinks it can run things better on behalf of the people. This is a movement that believes the people can run things better on their own behalf, combining citizen wisdom with expert knowledge to solve the everyday problems that people face.”

Online Direct Democracy in action.

Americans are not too stupid to govern themselves, as the oligarchy would have us believe. Many citizens opt out of the political process because they know they don’t have a voice. Direct democracies like Switzerland and Barcelona’s have the best governments. Their citizens inform themselves because they know their ideas and votes count.

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This is an excellent and much needed article. It is disappointing that it has not been read by many. Perhaps a different title would draw more readers? There is quite a bit on ‘sanctuary cities’ these days, which is why I didn’t tune in to this article yesterday. Something like: Barcelona citizens succeed in taking back their government would have had me immediately. Just a thought.

Counties and cities need to open their own banks.