If you’ve been a 49th Ward resident for a while, you know that I employ a process called “participatory budgeting.” Known as “PB49,” this process gives the residents of my ward the power to decide directly how to spend $1 million of the Ward’s “menu money,” discretionary funds received annually by each Chicago alderman for infrastructure improvements in their wards.
I invite you to attend one of the upcoming PB49PROJECT EXPOS to learn about the proposed neighborhood improvement projects for this year and provide your feedback. The project proposals have been put together by neighborhood volunteers, who’ve been working hard the last five months researching and crafting the proposals for your consideration.
You need only go to one of the Expos. The dates, times and locations of the Expos are as follows:
- Saturday, March 29th, 10:00 a.m., Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers (just west of the Metra tracks)
- Tuesday, April 1st, 7:00 p.m., St. Paul’s Church by the Lake, 7100 N. Ashland (at Estes). Free parking is available in the lot just west of the church.
In addition, a Spanish Language Project Expo will be held this Wednesday, March 26th, 7:00 p.m., at St. Jerome’s Church Parish Center, 1709 W. Lunt.
You will have an opportunity at the upcomingPB49 PROJECT EXPOS to hear directly from five different neighborhood committees about the projects they’re proposing for inclusion on the ballot. Each committee will give a short presentation on its project proposals, and you will be invited to offer your feedback and suggestions.
The 49th Ward is the first political jurisdiction in the nation to give its residents the power to determine how to spend a portion of a governmental budget. Thousands of ward residents have voted in the first four participatory budgeting elections. The process was such a success that I pledged to make it a permanent fixture in the 49th Ward.
The 49th Ward’s participatory budgeting model has been adopted in other Chicago wards and a new Participatory Budgeting staff position has been created within Mayor Emanuel’s Office of Budget and Management to assist aldermen in implementing PB in their wards. Several U.S. cities also have adopted the 49th Ward PB model, including New York, Boston, St. Louis, San Francisco and Vallejo California.
To get an idea of the types of projects that have been approved by the 49th Ward voters, take a look at last year’s election results:
For the results of the 2010, 2011 and 2012 PB elections,CLICK HERE.
For more information about participatory budgeting and how the process works in the 49th Ward, visit the Participatory Budgeting page on my web site:
Most importantly, attend one of the PB49 PROJECT EXPOS and make your voice heard.
P.S. Mark your calendar for the upcoming 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting Election Day. Vote for your favorite 49th Ward infrastructure projects at the Voting Assembly, Saturday, May 3rd, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Chicago Math and Science Academy, 7212 N. Clark St. (across from Touhy Park). Early voting will take place beginning Saturday, April 26th, at sites throughout the 49th Ward.