The ballots are cast, the votes are counted, and the people have spoken. Attached below are the detailed results of the 2014 Participatory Budgeting Election in the 49th Ward:
Nearly 1,800 residents of our community cast ballots, which represents the largest voter turnout in the five-year history of participatory budgeting in the 49th Ward.
The voters this year decided that 69% of the $1 million allocated for PB should be devoted to basic infrastructure, including street resurfacing, new streetlights and sidewalk repairs. As a result, nine blocks of streets will be resurfaced, three blocks will receive new streetlights and $69,000 worth of repairs will be made to area sidewalks.
For the remaining portion of the budget, the voters selected the following:
- Metal bus stop benches at 15 locations
- New carpeting at theRogers Park Library
- A new water feature for childrenat Pottawattomie Park
- A beach path extension for wheel chairs and baby strollers at HartiganBeach
When I launched the 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting process five years ago, I had high expectations for our very special neighborhood. The 49th Ward has a proud history of civic engagement, and I knew my constituents would embrace this process.
But the participatory budgeting elections have exceeded even my wildest dreams. They are more than elections. They are community celebrations and an affirmation that people will participate in the civic affairs of their community if given real power to make real decisions.
This is a people-powered process from beginning to end. From the initial planning stages to its final implementation, the process is driven by scores of community volunteers. I extend my deepest gratitude to the members of the 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting Leadership Committee and the 49th Ward residents who volunteered countless hours as“Community Representatives.” I especially want to acknowledge 49th Ward resident Sheree Morrattowho chaired the Leadership Committee and devoted countless volunteer hours to ensuring the success of our initiative.
And kudos to my 49th Ward Service Office staff–especially Cecilia Salinas, who is my lead staff coordinator for the Participatory Budgeting process, Betsy Vandercook, my chief-of-staff, and Wayne Frazier, who oversees ward infrastructure projects. Michael Land, Ann Hinterman andBob Fuller of my staff also pitched in to support the work of the Leadership Committee and community representatives.
This year for the first time, PB49 voters were able to cast votes electronically thanks to the able assistance of Stanford University Professor Ashish Goel and his team. We hope to use Stanford’s expertise in digital technology to expand voter participation even more in future elections.
I also wish to extend my gratitude to Josh Lerner of theParticipatory Budgeting Project for his ongoing guidance and support.
Finally, and most importantly, my thanks to the residents of the 49th Ward who voted in this historic election and took democracy into their own hands. I’m proud to represent this amazing community.