Give Gifts Top Banner

Sections
Home » Issues » America: The Remix » Chicago Ward Tries Citizen Budgeting

Get a FREE Issue. Yes! I want to try YES! Magazine

Nonprofit. Independent. Subscriber-supported. DONATE. How you can support our work.

YES! by Email
Join over 78,000 others already signed up for FREE YES! news.
[SAMPLE]

The YES! ChicoBag(R). Full-size tote that fits in your pocket!

 

Chicago Ward Tries Citizen Budgeting

Document Actions
— tags:

Thumb Up IconIn a city with a history of corruption and lack of transparency, one elected official is restoring meaning to the term “public funds.”

Participatory budget meeting in Brazil

Residents of Porto Alegre, Brazil, gather in May for the annual Regional Participatory Budgeting assembly. Porto Alegre was the first city to use participatory budgeting, and during some years all budgeting decisions were discussed and as much as 10 percent was decided directly by residents.

Photo by Michael Fox

Alderman Joe Moore, of Chicago’s 49th Ward, has launched what is believed to be the United States’ first experiment with “participatory budgeting,” a grassroots process that lets residents allocate municipal funding as they see fit. The residents of the far north-side ward will oversee the budgeting of this year’s $1 million in infrastructure funds. The city allocates these funds annually to alderpeople to use at their discretion. Moore decided his residents would know what infrastructure improvements were needed better than any government official.

The process started in November 2009 with neighborhood meetings facilitated by ward officials. There, any ward resident could express an opinion about how to spend the money. The process was first used in Brazil in the 1980s and has become popular in Latin America and around the world.

In the 49th Ward, suggestions ranged from more street lighting to installing community gardens. From the neighborhood meetings, residents elected representatives, who then divided into subcommittees to deal with the different project categories, like arts and public safety.

In March, committee representatives will present ward residents with a list of final projects for review. By April, the projects should be underway. If everything goes well, Moore has promised to do this every year and encourage other politicians to follow his lead.

—Jeff Raderstrong is a Washington, D.C., writer who blogs at changecharity.blogspot.com.

Interested?


ALSO ...
Oregon voters
in January approved two measures that will increase the income tax on wealthy households and on corporations.

Interested? Beyond Tea Party Politics: Oregon voted to increase taxes on corporations and the wealthy to help fund programs that assist low and middle-income families.

 


HAITI

  • “Pro-poor” Relief for Haiti

HUMAN RIGHTS

  • Protests Mount Against Blockade of Gaza

Also ... Study shows, legalizing undocumented immigrants would boost the U.S. economy


ECONOMY

  • Chicago Ward Tries Citizen Budgeting

Also ... Oregon voters approve taxing corporations

spacer

CLIMATE CHANGE

  • Bolivia to Host Climate Summit for the People

Also ... Scotland's Isle of Eigg committed to renewable energy


VOTING
  • Appeals Court Rules Inmates Entitled to Voting Rights

FOOD

  • Sweden Labels Food With CO2 Data

Also ... Washington State bans BPA in baby bottles; World Watch Institute calls for shift towards simplicity

 

Email Signup
America: The Remix
Comment on this article

How to add a commentCommenting Policy

comments powered by Disqus


You won’t see any commercial ads in YES!, in print or on this website.
That means, we rely on support from our readers.

||   SUBSCRIBE    ||   GIVE A GIFT   ||   DONATE   ||
Independent. Nonprofit. Subscriber-supported.




Issue Footer

Filed under:
Personal tools