Eight years ago, we put the 49th Ward on the world map by becoming the first community in the United States to implement Participatory Budgeting, an innovative exercise in democracy that gives the people the power to decide by a direct vote how to spend a portion of a government budget.
Follow me on Friday to the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society, 7363 N. Greenview, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., as we dedicate an exhibit that chronicles the history of Participatory Budgeting in the 49th Ward, and vote early in this year’s Participatory Budgeting election!
Enjoy some light hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine, and soft drinks, and learn about the highly touted Participatory Budgeting initiative, which we brought to the ward in 2009.
For the past eight years, I have asked the residents of the 49th Ward to decide directly how to spend $1 million of the ward’s $1.35 million annual discretionary capital improvement fund. In that time, 2,952 people have contributed ideas at neighborhood assemblies, 1,213 people volunteered as community representatives, and 11,092 ballots were cast by ward residents.
The exhibit highlights the various improvements to the ward that have been made based on your votes. They include viaduct murals, playground improvements, a dog park, public drinking fountains, accessibility improvements at the library, as well as street lighting, street repaving, and sidewalk and alley maintenance. The exhibit documents the PB process and is meant to inspire others to participate.
After you view the exhibit and enjoy some refreshments, walk across the street to the 49th Ward Service office (7356 N. Greenview) and cast your ballot in this year’s PB49 election. To view a sample ballot, click here.
Special thanks to the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society, my PB Coordinator, Cecilia Salinas, and PB Leadership Committee members John Appel and Bobbie Patzold for putting this exhibit together.
“Follow Me on Friday” is one of my efforts to encourage my constituents to sample some of the 49th Ward’s finest restaurants, pubs and businesses. About once or twice a month on my Facebook page, I post the name and location of a local restaurant, pub or business where I’ll be hanging out after work on Friday. The establishment offers specials for all my Facebook followers and their friends. It’s a great opportunity for you to check out the fine local 49th Ward businesses you may not have visited before.
Previous Follow Me on Friday locations include Ethiopian Diamond II, 7537 N. Clark;Waterfront Cafe, 6219 N. Sheridan; Good To Go Jamaican Cuisine & Fruit Bar, 1947 W. Howard; the Caribbean American Bakery, 1539 W. Howard; Chuckie’s, 1412 W. Morse; the Red Line Tap, 7006 N. Glenwood; The Glenwood, 6962 N. Glenwood; Bruno and Tim’s Lounge, 6562 N. Sheridan; Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse; the Common Cup, 1501 W. Morse; The Fish Keg, 2233 W. Howard; La Cazuela, 6922 N. Clark; The Growling Rabbit, 6981 N. Sheridan; the Grill Inn, 1422 W. Morse; El Famous Burrito, 7047 N. Clark; The New 400 Theaters, 6746 N. Sheridan; Rogers Park Fine Wine and Spirits, 6733 N. Clark; Poitin Stil, 1502 W. Jarvis; Northside Community Resources, 1530 W. Morse; Felice’s Roman Style Pizza, 6441 N. Sheridan; Lighthouse Tavern, 1236 W. Chase; Royal Coffee Chicago, 6764 N. Sheridan; Cafe Descartes, 6451 N. Sheridan; theGreenleaf Arts Center, 1806 W. Greenleaf; the Mezz Gallery at the Mayne Stage, 1328 W. Morse, Taste Food and Wine, 1506 W. Jarvis; Badou Senegalese Cuisine, 2055 W. Howard; Morse Gyros and Chicken, 1335 W. Morse; Den Den Restaurant, 6635 N. Clark; Towbar, 1500 W. Jarvis; and Bop ‘N’ Grill, 6604 N. Sheridan, El Pulpo Loco, 6619 N. Clark; R Public House, 1508 W. Jarvis; the Glenwood Dance Studio, 7017 N. Glenwood; Twisted Tapas, 1146 W. Pratt; Heartland on the Lake, 1200 W. Greenleaf; La Choza Mexican Grill, 7022 N. Clark; Rogers Park Social, 6920 N. Glenwood; the Pottawattomie Park Picnic in the Park, 7340 N. Rogers; Audio Archaeology, 1324 W. Devon; Thai Spice, 1320 W. Devon; VZN Eye Care, 6814 N. Sheridan; Hops and Grapes, 6816 N. Sheridan; SP Kebab, 6808 N. Sheridan; Devon Heartland Health Center, 1300 W. Devon; The Oasis, 6809 N. Sheridan; Ireland’s, 6511 N. Sheridan; McDonald’s, 6740 N. Clark; Oak Street Health, 1541 W. Devon; BMO Harris Smart Branch, 6556 N. Sheridan; Pita Pit, 6558 N. Sheridan; True Nature Foods at the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood; Pub 626, 1406 W. Morse; Su Taqueria El Rey del Taco, 7138 N. Clark; The Side Project, 1435 W. Jarvis; NovaCare Rehabilitation, 1214 W. Loyola Court; Go Grocer, 6435 N. Sheridan; Leona’s, 6935 N. Sheridan; Capt’n Nemo’s, 7367 N. Clark; Cunneen’s Bar, 1424 W. Devon; Lakeshore Community Partners, 6443 N. Sheridan; the Factory Theater, 1623 W. Howard; Rogers Pier, 6800 N. Sheridan; Safari Lounge & Ethiopian Cuisine, 7124 N. Clark; Clarke’s Diner, 6431 N. Sheridan; the A&T Pancake House and Grill, 7036 N. Clark; Anytime Fitness Chicago-North, 1346 W. Devon; Theater Above the Law, 1439 W. Jarvis; Little Unicoco, 1631 W. Howard; Rogue Fusion, 7027 N. Clark; Blaze Pizza–Loyola, 6550 N. Sheridan, and Caffé ArrivaDolce, 6451 N. Sheridan.
Please join me this Friday to view this special exhibit and vote in the PB49 election!