The ballots are cast, the votes are counted, and the people have spoken. Below are the detailed results of the Fall 2017 Participatory Budgeting Election in the 49th Ward:
This the second “PB49” election held this year. The Mayor’s Office of Budget and Management has moved from May to January the deadline for aldermen to submit their infrastructure requests. So from this point forward, PB elections will be held in the autumn.
Over 2,200 residents of our community cast ballots in the election. This marks the third PB49 election in a row where turnout exceeded 2,000 voters.
The voters this cycle decided that 67% of the $1 million allocated for PB should be devoted to street and alley resurfacing and repairs to sidewalks and alley aprons (the area located at the mouth of the alley between the sidewalk and the street). As a result, four blocks of streets and seven alleys will be resurfaced and approximately $125,000 will be devoted to repairs to sidewalks and alley aprons.
For the remaining portion of the budget, the voters selected the following:
- Park benches to replace seven old benches at Loyola, Touhy and Pottawattomie Parks and add a new bench at Sherwin Beach;
- Extension of the Pratt bike lane, to include the portion of Pratt between Clark and Ridge. This will allow for an uninterrupted bike lane on Pratt from Sheridan to Kedzie;
- New streetlights on the 6700 and 6800 blocks of Greenview adjacent to Kilmer Elementary and Sullivan High Schools; and
- A countdown crosswalk sign at Jarvis and Clark to help pedestrians cross the street safely.
When I launched the 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting process eight years ago, I had high expectations for our amazing 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.
At a time when our governments in Washington and Springfield are failing us, we in Chicago’s 49th Ward have shown the world what true democracy looks like.
I’m proud to represent this amazing community!