Partners for Dignity & Rights

Public Budgeting

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Public budgets are moral documents that determine how we allocate our shared resources to meet our collective needs. The way our governments raise and spend public money reflects who and what we value and determines whether or not our institutions uphold human dignity, justice, and the rights of all people to housing, health care, education, dignified work, income security, and clean water, food, air, and clean energy.

But government budgeting at all levels has, for too long, deprioritized meeting fundamental needs, and has perpetuated structural racism and reinforced income and wealth inequalities.  Self-serving politicians unduly prioritize spending on the military in the federal budget, police, courts, prisons and jails in state and local budgets.  They also embrace and perpetuate tax systems that generally require poorer people to pay a higher portion of their income, fail to tax extreme wealth and harmful economic activities, and provide inequitable tax breaks that ignore our racialized history and steer income and wealth away from workers and communities of all races, particularly Black people,Indigenous people and immigrants. Instead, we need divestment from systems of social control and violence and investment in the fundamental needs of people and communities.

Developing just and equitable local, state, and federal budgets requires prioritizing human needs, centering equity, giving everyday people a direct role in public budgeting, and reimagining how we raise revenues. More specifically, this means:

Our Work
A New Social Contract
Dignity in Schools
Health Care
Public Budgeting
Land and Housing
Low Wage Workers

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