Sunday, March 13, 2011

"Participatory Budgeting: In a Chicago Ward, Residents Call the Spending Shots"

Politics Daily talks money:  Who gets to decide how to spend the $1.32million in menu money that each alderman receives in ward discretionary funds:

"Participatory budgeting is a small but energetic movement through which ordinary people directly decide how a portion of their municipal budget is spent. ... Residents of the 49th – who collectively speak 80 languages, and constitute one of the most diverse communities in America – deliberated and prioritized their needs through research and data collection, and voted democratically on a series of community-improvement projects, including street resurfacing, traffic control signals, bike lanes, community gardens, and murals."

According to the Participatory Budget Organization, eight alderman who pledged to launch participatory budgeting won on February 22nd -- including Uptown's Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) and Harry Osterman (48th Ward).  Six other advocates of participatory budgeting are in the run-off election on April 5 -- including Uptown's James Cappleman (46th Ward).


  1. Apparently Molly knows best and will make those decisions for us.. well, her and her coterie of Southside politicians that are bankrolling her campaign...that have no idea, nor care about, the long term issues of Uptown

  2. SIR!-

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that James has already decided how he's going to spend his menu money as well (from his site):

    "Use the $1.3 million dollars in menu funds for improvements including more streetscaping, pedestrian lighting, planters, and public art"

  3. Jim, on CLTV, Cappleman stated that he would be using the menu money for its intended purpose and those intended purposes are infrastructure improvements and streetscaping to attract more retail. When the moderator on CLTV asked Cappleman if he would involve the residents with decisions about the use of those funds for streetscaping, Cappleman gave a very enthusiastic affirmative reply.

    During this same CLTV interview, Phelan was using the menu funds to hire more police, until she learned from Cappleman that she's not allowed to spend those funds in that manner. No mention of involving the community to vote for anything has ever come out of Phelan's mouth, but correct me if I'm wrong.

  4. Jim - those are his suggestions, but James has been consistent in saying that he will definitely consider resident input.

  5. OMG...Can we stop with the decorative planters already?