Homeowners Are Getting A Say In Chicago’s Rogers Park Neighborhood
Homeowners in the Roger’s Park neighborhood of Chicago are thrilled with the installation of a new spray water pool at their local Pottawattomie Park. The water feature is one of many improvements the neighborhood has seen since Alderman Joe Moore launched the participatory budgeting initiative in the 49th Ward. The community has also voted to transform a vacant lakefront space into the family friendly Hartigan Park, plant cherry trees at Touhy Park and extend the Hartigan beach path to make it handicap and stroller accessible.
Participatory budgeting is a democratic process that is empowering Chicago homeowners with the ability to truly impact neighborhood improvements and property values. Through a year-long cycle of meetings and voting, community members decide how a significant portion of the public budget will be used. This collaborative fiscal approach means that area homeowners help determine how taxpayer money is spent, rather than just electing politicians to make those decisions for them. “After many years, we have a voice in how our ward spends its money!” said an excited resident.
Chicago Alderman Joe Moore launched the very first participatory budget process ever in the United States, in which residents in Moore’s ward decided how to spend $1 million of his annual discretionary capital infrastructure funds. Since 2012, participatory budgeting has grown to include seven Chicago communities engaging over 9,000 residents and homeowners in directly deciding how to spend over $12 million in public dollars.
To learn more about bringing participatory budgeting to your area contact Thea Crum, Director of Neighborhoods Initiative at UIC at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to your local alderman.