Nov 2, 2009 Comments Off on ‘Participatory budgeting’ in the 49th ward
In a city where budget opacity is the norm – including a billion-dollar TIF program operated with minimal public disclosure – one ward will be the first locality in the U.S. to undertake the cutting-edge “good governance” practice of participatory budgeting.
At nine neighborhood assemblies starting tomorrow night (Tuesday, November 3, at St. Margaret Mary Church, 7311 N. Claremont), residents of the 49th Ward will elect community representatives to begin the process of allocating infrastructure funds from next year’s $1.4 million aldermanic menu program.
In further neighborhood meetings and workshops over coming months, community representatives will develop proposals for infrastructure projects, and next spring residents will meet in a ward assembly to vote on an infrastructure budget.
The process got started last spring when Ald. Joe Moore called together leaders of 50 community groups, who formed a steering committee to develop the planning process.
“Hopefully this is a start toward a far more transparent process,” said Jamiko Rose, executive director of the Organization of the North East, who chairs the steering committee.