Anja Rudiger, National Economic and Social Rights Initiative
In an economic recession, progressives are often kept busy stemming the tide of budget cuts. How can we move from this defensive stance to a proactive solution that puts an end to the austerity paradigm and results in equitable spending and revenue policies? This workshop will explore how the human rights framework can be used to fundamentally change the way budget and revenue policy is made. It can be applied to federal, state and local budgets, enabling us to envision public budgets whose purpose is to meet everyone’s fundamental needs. As an example, we will look at the state of Vermont, which recently took a very first step toward a human rights-based People’s Budget. We will review the tools develop by community activists in Vermont and examine how these can be adapted for use in other states.