I believe the Particpatory Budget Process is a great way to get the community involved in our neighborhoods. Our “menu money” should be spent with input from the community.

I do however believe that our Alderman’s implementation of the Participatory Budgeting process has been a complete failure.

  • Less than 1% of the community is involved in the process.
  • The voting age is as young as 14 years old.
  • Seniors who don’t read the local paper, get emails or use the internet are essentially left out of the process.
  • Community members vote on the amount of money to be used on street resurfacing without a complete picture of the condition of the streets throughout the Ward. How or why would Gladstone Park voters be aware of the condition of the streets in Independence Park?

It’s a flawed process that needs to be more inclusive.

I will do the job you elect me to do.

  • Each year the amount of the budget would change as determined by the need for street resurfacing.
  • The remaining amount would be spent based on input from the community.
  • Projects that are submitted that can be handled by another agency or by community support will be eliminated from the ballot. Like pigeon abatement. We can organize the community to use power washers to clean up after the pigeons; we can do our own abatement or pressure the agency who is tasked to maintain the viaducts to take care of the problem.
  • We will get participation from community members, neighborhood organizations, local Chambers of Commerce, high school and grade school students to help distribute these ballots door to door and at neighborhood community meetings.

We can organize the community to plant trees and clean up after pigeons, we can’t organize the community to resurface a street.

Our participatory budget will be about people, not politics.