At a time when the Occupy Wall Street Movement is giving voice to those who decry the dominance of corporate and political elites in our government, Chicago’s 49th Ward is leading the way to a new form of democracy.
As reported on the website of the Participatory Budgeting Project, the Occupy Movement is turning to Participatory Budgeting (or “PB”) for inspiration. Occupy Wall Street held a PB teach-in this past weekend in New York and occupiers in Boston, Providence, Greensboro, and other cities have reached out to see how PB can fit into the movement’s diverse tactics and demands. Time Magazine’s Global Spin Blog reports that PB is being practiced at activist general assemblies in New York’s Zuccotti Park and other occupation sites around the U.S.
Back home in the 49th Ward, the U.S. birthplace of Participatory Budgeting, attendance at the first two 49th Ward PB Assemblies last week exceeded all expectations despite some horrible weather conditions. Nearly half the meeting attendees volunteered to serve as “community representatives,” who will work over the next several months to turn the ideas collected for 49th Ward infrastructure projects into a final ballot that will be presented to the voters next spring.
Be a part of this history-making democratic process. Learn about Participatory Budgeting at one of the Neighborhood Assemblies that are now taking place throughout the 49th Ward, where you can get in on the ground floor in determining the infrastructure projects that will be implemented in the 49th Ward.
Two Neighborhood Assemblies will be held this week. Tonight’s Neighborhood Assembly (Monday, October 24) takes place at the Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf (at the Lake), and is for residents who live between Touhy and Lunt east of Clark. Pizza and refreshments, courtesy of J.B. Alberto’s Pizza, will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will start promptly at 7:00 p.m.
Thursday’s meeting (October 27) takes place at New Field School, 1707 W. Morse (at Clark) and is for 49th Ward residents who live south of Touhy and west of Clark. Once again, pizza and refreshments will be served at 6:30 p.m. and the meeting will start at 7:00 p.m.
Pizza and refreshments, courtesy of JB Alberto’s Pizza will be offered
If you live in those areas but cannot attend those meetings, or you missed a meeting last week, don’t worry. All Neighborhood Assembly meetings are open to every 49th Ward resident.
Below is the schedule for the remaining Neighborhood Assemblies:
Neighborhood Assembly Schedule
(Note: Complimentary pizza will be provided at 6:30 p.m. before all meetings. The meetings will begin promptly at 7:00 p.m.)
Monday, Oct. 24, Loyola Park Fieldhouse, 1230 W. Greenleaf, 2nd Floor
Thursday, Oct. 27, New Field School, 1707 W. Morse
Tuesday, Nov. 1, Loyola University, Campion Hall, 6525 N. Sheridan
Thursday, Nov. 3, United Church of Rogers Park, 1545 W. Morse, 3rd Floor
Tuesday, Nov. 15, St. Jerome Church Parish Center, 1709 W. Lunt (Spanish language)
Wednesday, Nov. 16, Alden Village North, 7464 N. Sheridan
Thursday, Nov. 17, Willye White Park Fieldhouse, 1610 W. Howard
I look forward to seeing you at one of the assemblies!