Cutting Democracy from Chicago's Budget?

Chicago’s new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, is considering cutting the discretionary funds allocated to Aldermen – the pot of money used for participatory budgeting in the city’s 49th Ward. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that the $66 million budget – called menu money – could be eliminated.
The funds are distributed equally to the city’s 50 Aldermen, to pay for basic ward infrastructure. Alderman Moore has been letting 49th Ward residents decide how to spend their menu money since 2009, and other Aldermen are planning to follow suit this year – but only if the menu money remains in the budget.