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:
- Wednesday, April 3rd, 7:00 p.m., United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse (at Ashland), 3rd floor. Free parking available in the parking lot of the Mision Christiana Elim Church (southwest corner of Morse and Ashland).
- Thursday, April 4th, 7:00 p.m., Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers (just west of the Metra tracks).
In addition, a Spanish language Project Expo will be held on Wednesday, April 10th, 7:00 p.m., at the St. Jerome Church Parish Center, 1706 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 three participatory budgeting elections. The process was such a success that I pledged to make it a permanent fixture in the 49th Ward.
New York City has adopted the 49th Ward’s Participatory Budgeting model and this year, for the first time,Particpatory Budgeting has expanded to three other Chicago wards where my City Council colleagues have agree to use a participatory budgeting process to determine spending for their discretionary capital budget.
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 and 2011 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 4th, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Chicago Math and Science Academy, 7212 N. Clark St. (across from Touhy Park).