New York’s Brownfield Cleanup Program was designed as an initiative to encourage the citizens to investigate, clean up and help redevelop brownfields in the area. A brownfield is any real property where redevelopment or reuse may be complicated by the presence or potential presence of a contaminant. A brownfield typically is a former industrial or commercial property where operations may have resulted in environmental contamination. A brownfield can pose environmental, legal and financial burdens on a community.
Proposition 31 was a ballot measure created by California Forward and voted on by the people of California during the General Election held on November 6, 2012. Proposition 31 called for changes to the state budget, and for any legislation to be published three days before it was voted on, among other things. Proposition 31 was defeated by a vote of over 60% to under 40%, but was a good step in the right direction regarding budget reform in California.
Since 2002, the city of Grenoble, France, has engaged citizens in public decision-making through participatory committees and town meetings. Residents have been able to express their opinions and make recommendations on city planning, education, cultural life, and other municipal issues. Over the years, this program has strengthened local democracy and empowered public participation in important civic projects.
The Countywide Community Forum’s mission states its three main reasons for creating themselves: engage, educate, and inform public officials. For the engagement mission, King County officials want to know the main issues that citizens of the King County are most concerned about. The forums are placed anywhere within the King County area, generally within a public space where forums are designed to be convenient gather spots. However there can be forums in living rooms or workplaces since individuals who are leading the forums can be anyone.
This case study features a new initiative that aims to promote a whole new form of participatory democracy across the European Union (EU). Citizen initiatives that garner 1 million signatures across a wide range of Member States will be considered by the European Commission. This gives residents across the EU the direct ability to propose legislation and influence matters that concern the entire continent.