I’ve just launched a new neighborhood blog. Unlike some other neighborhood blogs, you won’t find the latest salacious rumors and innuendo.
Instead, this new blog will keep up you to date on our path-breaking Participatory Budgeting process, in which YOU will decide how to spend $1.3 million for neighborhood improvements.
Check it out here: http://participatorybudgeting49.wordpress.com.
As you know, I get over a million dollars a year to spend on infrastructure improvements in the 49th Ward. But rather than spend that money at my own discretion, I’m asking the residents of the 49th Ward to decide for themselves through a process known as “Participatory Budgeting” (PB). For a thorough description of what this is all about, click here.
Over 60 of your neighbors currently serve as “Community Representatives” to the PB process. These representatives are 49th Ward residents who attended one of eight “Neighborhood Assemblies” held late last year and volunteered to take on additional leadership roles and responsibilities in the process.
The community representatives each meet in one of six committees to develop project proposals. The committees include:
- Traffic Safety
- Public Safety
- Streets, Parks and Environment
• Art and Other Projects
The proposals under consideration range from street lighting to bike lanes to dog parks to public art. While the representatives have brought their own ideas and creativity to this process, many project ideas arose out of suggestions residents gave at the neighborhood assemblies.
The committees post regular updates on their progress on the 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting Blog,http://participatorybudgeting49.wordpress.com.
Visit this blog and give the committee members feedback and suggestions for new projects to consider. Just post your comment directly on their individual pages, which are listed on the right side of the home page.
In addition to the blog, I will be hosting a second round of Neighborhood Assemblies in early March. They will be held in locations throughout the Ward and will offer you an opportunity to hear from your Community Representatives and give them your thoughts and feedback. Dates, times, and locations for the assemblies will be announced in February.
And in April, the final list of proposed projects for 2010 will be put to a vote of all 49th Ward residents at a neighborhood-wide assembly.
Please note that one of the committees–the Art and Other Projects Committee–has posted a survey on the blog to solicit additional community feedback throughout the PB process. I encourage you to take this quick, two-minute survey that will help this committee decide which projects to propose. To complete the survey,click here.
I am excited to be a part of this first-or-its-kind experiment in direct democracy in the United State, and urge you to get involved and make sure your vote is counted.