The next round of participatory budgeting is about to begin! Now is your chance to determine how you and your neighbors will spend over $1 million in improvements for the 49th Ward.
Each year, I receive up to $1.3 million under the “Aldermanic Menu” program to spend at my discretion on infrastructure improvements in the ward. Two years ago, I implemented a “participatory budgeting” process in which the residents of my ward decide directly through popular vote how those tax dollars are spent.
The 49th Ward is the first political jurisdiction in the nation to adopt such an approach to public spending, and it’s been so well-received that I have pledged to make it a permanent fixture in the ward. Word of our success has spread nationwide and other cities in the U.S., including New York City, are emulating our participatory budgeting model.
The process for determining how the 2012 budget will be spent begins this week with the first in a series of “Neighborhood Assembly” meetings. 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.
We’ve divided the ward into eight areas. A neighborhood assembly will be held in each area (a ward-wide Spanish language assembly also will be held). Please try to attend the neighborhood assembly that is in your area. However, if that’s not possible, you are free to attend a neighborhood assembly in another area.
The first Neighborhood Assembly is for folks who live in the 49th Ward west of Ridge Blvd. and takes placetomorrow (Wednesday, October 19th), 6:30 p.m. (free pizza) 7:00 p.m. (meeting), at St. Margaret Mary’s Church Activity Center, 7311 N. Claremont (at Jarvis).
The next meeting is for folks who live in the vicinity of Pottawattomie Park and takes place Thursday, October 20th, 6:30 p.m. (free pizza) 7:00 p.m. (meeting) at the Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers.
Pizza and refreshments courtesy of JB Alberto’s Pizza will be served at all Neighborhood Assembly meetings.
FOR A SCHEDULE OF ALL UPCOMING NEIGHBORHOOD ASSEMBLY MEETINGS AND A MAP OF THE AREAS, CLICK HERE or scroll to the bottom of this e-mail.
At the conclusion of each assembly, we will ask for volunteers to serve as “community representatives,”who will be charged with developing specific spending proposals for a ward-wide vote in April 2012.
Important Update on the Aldermanic Menu Program
I am beginning this year’s Participatory Budgeting process even though it is not entirely certain Mayor Emanuel will continue the “Aldermanic Menu” program in 2012.
The menu program is not listed in the Mayor’s proposed operating budget because it is a capital budget item. Nevertheless, in previous years, Mayor Daley always announced the aldermanic menu program as part of his annual budget address. Mayor Emanuel failed to do so in his budget address to the City Council last week. The Mayor’s budget director told the aldermen in private briefings that the Administration will “probably” have an aldermanic menu program next year, but it “may” include some “reforms.”
Despite this uncertainty, I have opted to move ahead with our process with the assumption that there will be an Aldermanic Menu program in 2012. Our process takes time and we cannot afford to wait until we receive final word. I will keep you updated as I receive more information.
If you would like to join me in urging the Mayor to continue the Aldermanic Menu program as it is presently constituted, you may contact him by e-mail on the City of Chicago’s “Feedback Form:” To access the form,CLICK HERE.
You may also write him at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle, Room 500, Chicago, IL 60602.
More Information on Participatory Budgeting
If you would like more information on Participatory Budgeting in the 49th Ward, please click on these links:
NEIGHBORHOOD ASSEMBLY AREAS
Neighborhood Assembly Schedule (by area)
(Note: Complimentary pizza will be provided at 6:30 p.m. before all meetings. The meetings will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m.)
Area A: Thursday, Nov. 17, Willye White Park Fieldhouse, 1610 W. Howard
Area B: Wednesday, Oct. 19, St. Margaret Mary Church Activity Center, 7311 N. Claremont
Area C: Thursday, Oct. 20, Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers
Area D: Wednesday, Nov. 16, Alden Village North, 7464 N. Sheridan
Area E: Thursday, Oct. 27, New Field School, 1707 W. Morse
Area F: Monday, Oct. 24, Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf, 2nd Floor
Area G: Thursday, Nov. 3, United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse, 3rd Floor
Area H: Tuesday, Nov. 1, Loyola University, Campion Hall, 6525 N. Sheridan
Spanish Language: Tuesday, Nov. 15, St. Jerome Church Parish Center, 1709 W. Lunt
Neighborhood Assembly Schedule (in chronological order)
Wednesday, Oct. 19, St. Margaret Mary Church Activity Center, 7311 N. Claremont (Area B)
Thursday, Oct. 20, Pottawattomie Park Fieldhouse, 7340 N. Rogers (Area C)
Monday, Oct. 24, Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf, 2nd Floor (Area F)
Thursday, Oct. 27, New Field School, 1707 W. Morse (Area E)
Tuesday, Nov. 1, Loyola University, Campion Hall, 6525 N. Sheridan (Area H)
Thursday, Nov. 3, United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse, 3rd Floor (Area G)
Tuesday, Nov. 15, St. Jerome Church Parish Center, 1709 W. Lunt (Spanish language)
Wednesday, Nov. 16, Alden Village North, 7464 N. Sheridan (Area D)
Thursday, Nov. 17, Willye White Park Fieldhouse, 1610 W. Howard (Area A)