Before the holidays, we collected 89 different ideas on how to invest $1 million in our community. PB45 volunteers started meeting this week to turn those ideas into potential projects for the PB45 2015 ballot this spring.
Here’s how it works: Each alderman every year is allocated $1.3 million in Aldermanic Menu funds – yes, there is literally a menu – to spend on street and sidewalk repaving, curb replacement, bike lanes, street light replacement, and other capital projects.
In participatory budgeting, the process starts the fall before with neighborhood assemblies, which we hosted in November. There, residents brainstormed infrastructure ideas, and many people volunteers to serve on project committees.
Those volunteers are now researching the projects for feasibility and cost. They will select projects to place on the ballot.
In the spring, the committees present the projects selected for the ballot to the community at project expos, explaining why those projects were selected and answering questions.
Finally, in the late spring, all ward residents 14 and older are invited to vote on projects. Residents will also vote on how much of the $1 million should be allocated toward street resurfacing.
If you are interested in getting involved, of if you have questions, please email my office.