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Environmental Law Reporter



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This Article offers a revamped model of participatory governance—the Constituent Empowerment Model (CE Model)—which affirmatively shifts power to the voices of marginalized constituents so that they can influence governmental policy. The CE Model focuses on three concepts necessary to produce this shift in power to those who are traditionally unheard: operationalized (feasibly realized) participation; constituent primacy; and structural accountability. To illustrate how a CE system might be constructed, this Article examines a model recently adopted in the city of Baltimore, Maryland, that is designed to shift the balance of power between the water utility and its customers. Baltimore offers a blueprint for how this new form of participatory governance could make local institutions more responsive to the needs of disempowered constituents.

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