Chicago 49th Ward

How PB in schools tries to make PB a little easier

Thea Crum is the Director of the Neighborhoods Initiative at the Great Cities Institute, University of Illinois at Chicago, and has handled research and evaluation for participatory budgeting (PB) in Chicago, including at Sullivan High School. Michael Menser is a Professor at Brooklyn College, CUNY, and helped bring PB to NYC and his college, and…

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PB Chicago Kicks Off

April in Chicago has come to mean two things: the daily weather forecast is, “60 with a chance of snow,” and it’s time for residents to make their voices heard in the PB Chicago vote! You may read a lot about what’s happening with PB on the East and West Coast, but never forget that…

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Back on track in Chicago, but with delays

Back in June, we warned that PB in Chicago could be shut down prematurely, as new Mayor Rahm Emanuel was threatening to get rid of the discretionary funding for Aldermen. Fortunately, those cuts appear to be off the table now, meaning that the Aldermen will still have discretionary funds and that PB will continue in…

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The Participatory Budgeting Project’s Maria Hadden was interviewed last night on the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) program Connect with Mark Kelley. In light of the current federal budget debates in Canada, she discussed Participatory Budgeting in Chicago’s 49th Ward, as an alternative way to decide public spending. Her segment appears around the 24 minute mark…

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May 7: 2nd PB Vote in Chicago

Participatory Budgeting in Chicago’s 49th Ward is gearing up for its second annual PB voting day – Saturday, May 7th. For more information, including the sample ballot, see

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Chicago Election Results

Chicago’s municipal elections this Tuesday delivered good news for participatory budgeting. Joe Moore won the 49th Ward in a landslide with 72% of the vote, after barely winning in a runoff last election. Amongst the other candidates who pledged to launch PB in their wards, 8 won office: 1st Ward: Proco “Joe” Moreno 5th Ward:…

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PB candidates in Chicago elections

Chicago is holding municipal elections on February 22nd, and participatory budgeting is on the ballot, indirectly at least. Alderman Joe Moore, who launched PB in Chicago’s 49th Ward, is up for re-election. Following Moore’s lead, many other alderman candidates are also calling for PB. A few examples: – Valerie Leonard, 24th Ward – Emily Steward,…

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USA Today: Participatory Budgeting Builds Community

USA Today sings the praises of participatory budgeting, as part of a series on community involvement: One of the boldest exercises in citizen involvement is playing out in Chicago’s 49th Ward. Every ward receives $1.3 million a year to spend on roads, sewers and other infrastructure. Alderman Joe Moore let residents choose exactly where they…

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Could Participatory Budgeting Work in New York?

In this guest post, Pratt Institute‘s Laura Stinger recaps a panel discussion held in Brooklyn on October 29th, to discuss Chicago’s recent experience with participatory budgeting, and the possibilities for similar initiatives in New York:

During an evening event held at Pratt Institute to discuss the future of participatory budgeting in New York City, Chicago Alderman Joe Moore was joined by New York City Council Member Brad Lander, Bronx Community Board 7 District Manager Fernando Tirado, and Community Voices Heard representative Anne Washington. This post recaps the presentations and discussions from the event.

After introductions by Eve Baron of the Pratt Center, the Alderman screened a short film to illustrate the participatory budgeting (PB) process in his ward, from formation of the steering committee, to brainstorming sessions, to presenting ideas, and finally voting. After the film, the Alderman explained why he felt compelled to use participatory budgeting as a way to tackle the lack of citizen influence in city government.

In Chicago, most city-wide decisions are made by…

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Year Two of Participatory Budgeting in Chicago

Participatory Budgeting in Chicago‚Äôs 49th Ward is starting its second year, looking to build on the success of last year. Over the summer, a group of organization representatives and community representatives from the first year of PB formed a PB Leadership Committee, to help coordinate the process. The Leadership Committee finalized dates for the first…

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