Speaker: Michael Menser, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Philosophy, Urban Sustainability Studies, Caribbean Studies, Brooklyn College
Title: Resilience, Participatory Budgeting and the New Civic Engagement Commission: The Role of CUNY
Abstract: One year ago New Yorkers overwhelmingly approved ballot measures that made participatory budgeting city wide and created a new government organization, the civic engagement commission, which is supposed to promote interagency coordination and provide technical assistance to community boards. Mike Menser will discuss how both could help NYC become more equitable and resilient especially if they partnered with CUNY.
Bio: Dr. Michael Menser teaches Philosophy, Urban Sustainability Studies, and Caribbean Studies at Brooklyn College and Earth and Environmental Sciences and Environmental Psychology at the CUNY Graduate Center. He is an advisor for community engagement for the Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay and on the board of the Center for the Study of Brooklyn. He is the author of We Decide! Theories and Cases in Participatory Democracy (Temple 2018) and is a contributor to Prospects for Resilience: Insights from New York City’s Jamaica Bay (Island 2016). He is the co-founder and President of the Board of the Participatory Budgeting Project and helped launch one of the first PB processes in NYC working with the residents of Flatbush Brooklyn. Menser received his PhD from CUNY, has taught at Brooklyn College since 1995 and is a member of the Professional Staff Congress union (PSC CUNY). His early research was in philosophy of biology and science and technology studies and he co-edited the volume Technoscience and Cyber-culture (Routledge 1996) and since then has published scholarly papers on the democratizing the food system, political theory and democratizing the state, and bioregionalism and urban resilience. His current research is on climate justice for urban socio-ecological systems and how to create more equity-enhancing, effective, informed, and collaborative governance systems at different governmental levels in policies and programs such as the Green New Deal.