A Common Good Municipality: Miranda de Azán

Miranda de Azán is a small spanish village of 427 inhabitants in the region of Salamanca.

In Miranda de Azán there is no industry and there are no shops. But something wonderful started happening there in 2013, this is a brief introduction to this brave and exemplary trip to a better life for all its inhabitants:

It has been almost three years since a group of pioneers from Madrid visited Miranda de Azán to talk about the Economy for the Common Good. Was it only economy? No. At that time we already talked about the common good being the ultimate goal to be achieved in all different sides of society.CQEjSbSXAAAt5a3

Only two months after that visit, in May 2013, the Civil Council decided to include it during one of its plenary sessions: Miranda de Azán adds itself to this movement with the aim to foster and include initiatives on social integration, the human respect and the preservation of the environment in its municipality (…) and it commits itself to issue the Balance Sheet for the Common Good with the goal to assess and improve its accomplishments.

José Luís Sánchez Martín is responsible for fostering and managing this political shift in the municipality and he admits it is a challenging way. For him, it was difficult to fight the “usual way of thinking” that we all use in “pilot-mode”, people telling him that he should stop, that he should be realistic.

Little by little, the project started taking shape, political decisions started becoming an agenda and the village’s inhabitants, without knowing what the Common Good was, started valuing these efforts, because they were different, they felt taken into consideration and listened, and they saw progress.

It is paradoxical for José Luís Sánchez to talk about his village to organisations in Perú, Bariloche or Germany and still to be asked by neighbours about what the Common Good actually is.

During this time, the Municipality of Miranda de Azán has changed its way of understanding and practicing politics by having present the values of solidarity, democracy, transparency in its decisions. Values on which this movement is based.

Some of its practices are focused on fostering citizenship communication through neighbour meetings, increase in transparency and control of expenses, equitable tax and help redistribution, promotion of proximity and ecological consumption and more social responsibility from companies with public contracts.

Christian Felber’s visit on September 28th 2015 to Miranda de Azán as the first municipality for the Common Good in Spain and the placing of a distinctive board at its entrance, does not mean the final goal has been reached. This is just starting. It is a way to a new society. It is the materialisation of the principles of the Economy for the Common Good. It is the picture that shows that this is real, that change is possible. Like all relevant matters, it has started with a small, but steady step.

Based on an article by José Luis Sánchez Martín

Economy and citizenship participation Advisor

City Council Miranda de Azán

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