This week’s edition of dna info West Ridge gives prominence to the petition drive to bring participatory budgeting (PB) to the 50th Ward. Under the banner headline “Residents Want Say on 50th Ward Budget,” Linze Rice details our story. If you missed the print edition, you can read the story here.
PB is democracy in action, not an attack on the alderman, not an attempt to usurp her statutory authority, not a comment on her leadership. It is a positive action designed to involve residents in ward decision-making. It has been successful in eight other wards, where citizens chose a variety of projects to fund, from community gardens to street lighting to improved access to public buildings for the disabled. Yes, we need to have the potholes filled, and, as part of the PB process, residents can choose to continue to spend all or part of the Ward’s menu money doing just that.
But the community may choose other options. For example, to date there has been no funding available for a feasibility study for the new library that West Ridge so desperately needs. But the amount is so small in relation to the menu money–about $30,000–that it could easily be appropriated through the PB process–and we’d be one step closer to making that new library a reality!
Have you signed the petition yet? If not, there are still several ways to do so.
Contact us at Ladymurphy1@yahoo.com. We are working throughout the neighborhood, and chances are we have a petition circulator near you or a volunteer who can stop by a your convenience.
You can attend National Night Out on Tuesday, August 2. Petition circulators will attend the events at Green Briar and Warren Parks.
You can come to the Northtown Library this week. On Monday and Wednesday, we’ll be inside from 10 a.m. until Noon. On Tuesday and Thursday, we’ll be inside from Non until 2 p.m. We’ll be stationed at Computer #2 all four days (that’s the large-screen computer facing the Circulation Desk). On Saturday, August 6, we will be in the library’s meeting room between 9 a.m. and Noon. Sunday, August 7, is the last day to sign; please contact us via email, Ladymurphy1@yahoo.com to sign the petition then.
The signed and notarized petitions are due at the Chicago Board of Elections on Monday, August 8. After that, petition signatures can be challenged by PB opponents, and then we’ll have an opportunity to respond to those challenges.
We’ll keep you posted on what happens.