If you’ve ever complained about how your tax dollars are being used, you should keep reading. The Porto Alegre system is called “Participatory Budgeting.” The idea got its start in 1989, when the members of the left-of-center Workers’ Party were elected to the city’s leadership. In an effort to dispel the atmosphere of autocracy that dominated Brazil during the country’s dictatorship, the mayor and city council decided to give local residents a greater say in how the city’s revenues would be spent. The city established a system of neighborhood assemblies that would set priorities on how the city should use its money.