Cities overcoming neoliberalism — Local actions in Genoa for an egalitarian global economy

Proposal abstract

We’ll organize a participatory process to draw up proposals for Genoa, for an egalitarian, cooperative, non-hierarchical, democratic economy, in the direction of a just ecological transition. The municipality is a major local employer, buyer, leader of local initiatives—it has an explicit and implicit power to change the local economy.

The right-wing rules at all levels—from state to cities—, hence these proposals will bring into debate an alternative to the exploitative economy based on bad jobs for the youths and useless infrastructures. I.e., themes such as community wealth building, foundational economy, public-civic partnerships, commons, degrowth, care economy.

Locally, we want to gather citizens and stakeholders around a set of brave proposals. We’ll organize an effective local opposition on them and share them at a national level, to contribute to a municipalist alternative against Meloni. We’ll involve international allies we’re already working with—EMN, Commons Network, Democracy Collaborative, TNI, municipalist officials.

Who we are

Genova che osa is a cultural organization caring for politics, founded in 2017 in Genoa. We believe thought is a transformative force, and strive for a new progressive culture. We have a global sight: our commitment in Genoa is our contribution to a world marked by more equality and solidarity. We follow Gramsci’s appeal: «educate, stir, organize yourselves». We work along three lines: —the center for studies: we research Genoa’s social, economic and demographic conditions to highlight inequalities and challenges we want to overcome. We’ve published more than a dozen dossiers. —the school of politics: a horizontal, leaderful school to train youths who want to join our organization. —community organizing campaigns: we organize mobilisations for promoting our values, and opposing reactionary ideas of the right-wing. To support our ideas and proposals we collected thousands of signatures through petitions. We believe in the power of people organized around a common idea.

What we want to do and how we will do it

Genoa is a major, fastly shrinking, post-industrial, harbor city in North-Western Italy. It is struggling to cope with global transformations and plan for a fair future. Ill-fated local decisions have seconded the worst effect of neoliberalism—local economy only offers bad, exploitative jobs for the youths and public authorities waste resources in unsustainable infrastructures. 1. Denounce — In October 2022 we published in-depth research to denounce the economic situation of the city. We’ll keep speaking about its shocking data. 2. International cooperation — In November 2022 we gathered in Genoa a coalition of international organizations and elected officials to present alternative economic theories and practices. We’ll keep the network active to gather ideas. 3. Drafting up proposals — In January-April 2023, we will organize a set of three themed-workshops to discuss in-depth a specific alternative economic good practice, the specific situation of our city and how to draft a local proposal. We already have experience in workshops for drafting proposals and we’ll build on it. We’ll work to have involved in each workshop our volunteers, supporters, interested citizens and relevant stakeholders. 4. Promoting a debate — In May-June 2023, we’ll use our Newsletter reaching out to 20,000 people and our one-on-one calls system to promote the proposals. We’ll collect 3,000 signatures on petitions to support them, addressing elected officials. 5. Reaching out to stakeholders — In May-June 2023, we’ll reach out to a group of stakeholders (political parties, unions, cultural progressive associations, etc.) to personally present to them our proposals and have them support the proposals. 1) Short-term outcomes: Create a debate on our proposals: a. Digitally reach out to 20,000 people in our network, personally interact with 200, collect 3,000 signatures on petitions. b. Engage 30 stakeholders. c. Involve 70 people in workshops. d. 12 local press releases. 2) Long-term outcome: Contribute to coalescing a new plural leftist coalition of electors.

How much money do we need and what for?

Seminars room rent, 600 € Seminars flyers and posters & other printing, 100 € Seminars food expenses, 100 € CRM software (lump sum), 200 € Digital ads, 100 € 2 community organizers (lump sum reimbursement), 900 € 2 workshops moderators (lump sum reimbursement), 900 € TOTAL 2,900 €

Why / How does it contribute to /reflects the municipalism principles

Our project grows right in the municipalist ecosystem. It was conceived thanks to interaction with other municipalists we are in touch with. It’ll develop in contact with them, strengthening the network we’re part of. It’s based on the conviction that cities can overcome neoliberalism through local actions, thanks to cooperation, mutual support, and exchanging ideas and good practices. We follow the motto “act local, think global”. We started locally, denouncing with strong data the specific speculative effect of neoliberalism in Genoa—bad jobs for the youths, the wasting of resources in unsustainable infrastructures. On November 19 we went global, presenting a set of European municipal ideas and good practices to the city. Now, we’ll build on that by drawing up and campaigning on specific proposals for our city. These will be shared at a national level, to bring into the Italian political debate new issues—community wealth building, foundational economy, public-civic partnerships.