You are invited to a special 49th Ward premier screening of the PBS documentary, “Count Me In,” the first in-depth look at participatory budgeting, a burgeoning national movement that began in the 49th Ward.
The documentary, which highlights the 49th Ward’s participatory budgeting process, is scheduled to air next month on WTTW, but you have a chance to see it on the big screen before its broadcast on TV.
Join us this Sunday, October 30th, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m., at the New 400 Theater, 6746 N. Sheridan, for a free special screening followed by a discussion of the film and the future of participatory budgeting.
Directed and produced produced by Ines Sommer, a Rogers Park-based documentary filmmaker (see photo on left), “Count Me In,” tells a rare good-news story about money and voting, tracking the efforts of regular Chicagoans who are rolling up their sleeves to make an impact in their neighborhoods.
Participatory budgeting is one answer to the question, how do you get citizens, who have become cynical about politics and frustrated with voting, involved in the decision-making process about what government does and how things get done?
The film traces the growth of Participatory Budgeting from its US. beginning in the 49th Ward and shows residents pitching ideas for a variety of projects, including street repairs, bike lanes and community gardens. Projects get researched, proposals crafted, and at the end, the entire community is invited to vote.
“Count Me In” explores the ups and downs of this new tool, offering an engaging, unvarnished look at what it will take to revitalize democracy from the ground up, not just in Chicago, but across the nation.
After the screening I will lead a panel discussion of the film including:
- Ines Sommer, Director and producer of “Count Me In”
- Cecilia Salinas, the 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting Liaison
- Sarah Lisy, Former Chair of the 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting Leadership Committee
- Chad Adams, Principal of Sullivan High School, who implemented one of the first student-run Participatory Budgeting processes
I hope you can join me for this free public screening of a documentary of a process that is changing how we talk about democracy.