What is Participatory Budgeting?
Participatory budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. PB gives ordinary people real decision-making power over real money. The process was first developed in Brazil in 1989, and there are now over 1,500 participatory budgets around the world.
Since 2012, my office has given one million of its discretionary capital funds (“menu money”) to the community to decide how to spend through a participatory budgeting (PB) process.
It works like this:
• PB begins in the spring with ward residents and stakeholders proposing spending ideas at neighborhood assemblies.
• Next, volunteer community representatives take those ideas and develop them into project proposals.
• Finally, residents 14 years of age or older vote on projects, and the projects that receive the most votes are submitted by Alderman Arena for funding to the City of Chicago for implementation.
Click on the different links below to learn about projects that won during previous cycles and upcoming events.
Participatory Budgeting Project Map
Below is an interactive map of all the winning 45th Ward Participatory Budgeting projects. To view different layers, click on the arrow located at the upper left-hand corner. To open the map in Google Maps, click the brackets located at the top of the upper right-hand corner. A sample ballot for each year is available on that year’s respective page.