Do you want to feel good again about democracy and voting? The next round of participatory budgeting is about to begin! This is when you and your neighbors decide how to spend over $1 million in improvements for the 49th Ward.
Each year, I receive over $1 million from the City’s “Aldermanic Menu” Program to spend at my discretion on infrastructure improvements in the ward. Rather than me deciding how to spend the money, I turn the decision-making power over to the residents of my ward through a process known as “participatory budgeting.”
Community volunteers come up with proposed project ideas and the entire ward votes on the proposals they would most like to see implemented. I agree to abide by the results of the vote.
The process for determining how to spend next year’s budget begins NOW. Over the next two weeks, I will host six “Neighborhood Assemblies” (five in English and one in Spanish) throughout the 49th Ward where people learn about Participatory Budgeting and begin to brainstorm ideas on projects they would like to see in the ward.
The first assembly takes place TONIGHT (Monday, April 23rd), 7:00 p.m., at Sullivan High School, 6631 N. Bosworth (between North Shore and Albion). Come early before the meeting at 6:30 p.m. and join us for free pizza, courtesy of J.B. Alberto’s.
If you can’t make tonight’s meeting, no worries. I’m hosting five other Neighborhood Assemblies in the coming weeks. For a complete schedule of all upcoming Neighborhood Assemblies, scroll to the bottom of this post.
Attend one of these meetings and learn how the process works and give your input on the types of projects you believe should be funded in the 49th Ward. The meetings will be identical in content, so you need attend only one of the meetings.
Pick the day and location that is most convenient for you and bring your appetite. Pizza and refreshments will be served at the evening Neighborhood Assemblies. Coffee and donuts will be served at the Saturday morning session
Even if you know how participatory budgeting works, you should attend a Neighborhood Assembly. The Neighborhood Assemblies are where the project ideas for next year are first devised. It’s also when we ask for volunteers to serve as “community representatives,” who will be charged with developing project proposals for the ward-wide vote this fall.
If you cannot attend one of the assemblies, but have an idea for an infrastructure project to improve our neighborhood, click here. We will submit your idea to the community representatives for their consideration.
We will be considering only proposals for projects that fall within the boundaries of the 49th Ward. View the 49th Ward map.
The 49th Ward was the first political jurisdiction in the nation to adopt a participatory budgeting approach to public spending, and it’s been so well-received that I have pledged to make it a permanent fixture in the ward.
Be a part of history. Join us at one of the Neighborhood Assemblies!
Neighborhood Assembly Schedule for Step 1 of the 2018 Participatory Budgeting Process
(Note: Complimentary pizza will be provided at 6:30 p.m. before all evening meetings and coffee and donuts will be provided at 9:30 a.m. before the Saturday, April 28th, morning meeting.)
Monday, April 23, 7 p.m., Sullivan High School, 6631 N. Bosworth
Tuesday, April 24, 7 p.m., Paschen Park Fieldhouse, 1932 W. Lunt
Saturday, April 28, 10 a.m., Gale Community Academy, 1631 W. Jonquil
Monday, April 30, 7 p.m., Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers
Tuesday, May 1, 7 p.m., Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf
Wednesday, May 2, 7 p.m., St. Jerome Church Parish Center, 1709 W. Lunt (Spanish language)
49th Ward Map
Below is a copy of the 49th Ward map (courtesy of the Chicago Board of Elections):