The ballots are cast, the votes are counted and the people have spoken. Below are the detailed results of the 2018 Participatory Budgeting Election in the 49th Ward. These improvements will be made int he 2019 budget year.
Over 2,300 residents of our community cast ballots in the election. This marks the fourth PB49 election in a row where turnout exceeded 2,000 voters.
The voters this cycle decided that 62.6% of the $1 million allocated for PB ($626,000) should be devoted to street and alley resurfacing and sidewalk repairs. As a result, three blocks of streets and six alleys will be resurfaced. Two of the alleys will be resurfaced under the City of Chicago’s “Green Alley” program in which a flood-resistant permeable surface is used to allow the rain water to soak into the ground thus avoiding flooding and standing water problems.
For a list of the streets, alleys and sidewalks slated for repair, click on the link to the election results above.
For the remaining portion of the budget, the voters selected the following:
- One hundred trees to be planted on parkways and in parks throughout the 49th Ward;
- Bus benches to be placed at bus stops throughout the ward;
- Artistic Murals on CTA embankment walls and Metra viaducts;
- A public plaza/stage in Touhy Park, also known by the Spanish word “zocalo,” which means public square; and
- Partial funding for an artificial turf field and running track at Sullivan High School (the remaining funds will be proposed on future PB election ballots).
When I launched the 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting process nine years ago, I had high expectations for our amazing neighborhood. The 49th Ward has a proud history of civic engagement, and I knew the residents of our ward 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 want to send a special thank you all the members of the PB Leadership Committee and the Community Representatives. Participatory Budgeting couldn’t happen without them!
I’m proud to represent this amazing community and look forward to another successful Participatory Budgeting process next year!