The Social Democrats are hosting a public event in Dublin tomorrow [Saturday 21st October 2017] to discuss ways to make the city more democratic.

The ‘Democratising Dublin’ open meeting will hear the party’s strong backing for the city to have its own directly elected Mayor. The session will also showcase a recent pilot project in ‘participatory budgeting’ in which a local community in the city was able to decide how a portion of its council’s budget was spent. The event begins at 2.30 pm in the Gresham Hotel, O’Connell Street, Dublin.

Speaking ahead of the event, Social Democrats councillor Dermot Looney (South Dublin County Council) said:

“Participatory Budgeting is a radical but practical idea which can empower local people and communities. It’s a process whereby a portion of a Council’s budget goes to a local community, who decide for themselves what projects should be funded and delivered by the Council.

“As a councillor in South Dublin County I proposed Ireland’s first ever Participatory Budgeting scheme and worked with other Councillors and Council management on the successful “€300K – Have Your Say” pilot in the Lucan area. Tomorrow we will have an opportunity to explore how Participatory Budgeting could be rolled out across Dublin.

“We’ve organised this open session tomorrow because we want to share our ideas for democratising Dublin and listen to the ideas and suggestions of people who live in the city. We’d love to see as many people as possible coming along and bringing family and friends to discuss how we can all play a role in shaping our city to make sure it works for all of us.”

Councillor Gary Gannon (Dublin City Council) added:

“There is an absence of democratic accountability in our capital city. Major decisions that have real life implications for Dubliners are made by people who will never have to stand in front of an electorate.

“That is not a healthy practice and it is high time that Dubliners had the opportunity to vote for a democratically elected Mayor with proper authority.

“When we look at the challenges that we face as a city – in housing, infrastructure or the environment – it is clear we need decision makers who can lay out a vision for Dublin, and then be held to account for the delivery of that vision over the course of an electoral cycle.”

20th October 2017

More details of the event are available here:

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