Sick of old-style Chicago politics? In a truly innovative experiment in direct democracy, transparency, and economic reform, Alderman Joe Moore is asking you, the residents of the 49th Ward, to participate for the third year in the 49th Ward’s Participatory Budgeting process.
The first year, over 100 volunteers worked to develop 36 projects. Of these 14 were selected in a vote by over 1600 members of the community to receive a total of $1.3 million in funding–the entire capital infrastructure budget from the wards’ Menu Fund.
Last year, 21 projects made it onto the ballot in addition to a separate question on the percentage of the Menu Fund that should be dedicated exclusively to street resurfacing–$300,000 were reserved to cover PB project cost overruns. My constituents voted for an average of 57.2% to be dedicated exclusively to street resurfacing, in addition to 12 projects.
The 49th Ward is the first political jurisdiction in the nation to implement a participatory budgeting process, and Alderman Moore has made it a permanent fixture in the Ward.