|LEAP: Understanding Neoliberal Policies|
|Wednesday, 31 March 2010 12:24|
By Allison Basile
Many of the hardships people face, whether we’re in Jamaica or DC, can be attributed to the neoliberal policies that have dominated the U.S.’s approach to economic development. The Washington Consensus, followed by the World Bank and IMF for years, calls for a one-size-fits-all prescription: drastic cuts to government spending on social services, the privatization of social services, and deregulation.
These neoliberal policies have had devastating effects in DC and in countries around the world. In the words of John Williamson, the creator of the term Washington Consensus, “the results have been disappointing, to say the least, particularly in terms of growth, employment, and poverty reduction.” In DC, privatization projects in the childcare and sanitation industries have left DC employees without jobs. Major developments, like the Convention Center, came with promises that they would benefit long-time residents. These promises have been left unfulfilled by the DC government, which has notoriously put profits first and people second.
This was the topic of discussion at ONE DC’s LEAP meeting, where about 20 of us spent the afternoon learning, questioning and thinking of solutions. Leadership Education for Action and Power (LEAP) is ONE DC’s community learning program that examines contemporary problems and provides a space for ONE DC members to grapple with these problems and offer community-oriented solutions.
LEAP was my first experience with ONE DC, and I’m excited to know that there will be more to come. While I was familiar with the Washington Consensus and its effect on international development, I’ve only lived in DC for 5 months, so it was great to meet other ONE DC members and learn about the history of the city from long-time DC residents. Combining everyone’s skills and experiences, we came up with the following solutions:
I’m thrilled to be a part of the ONE DC community, and to help build a DC where people are the highest priority, and where the community can solve its problems in creative ways.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 31 March 2010 14:10|