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Quick Hit
by Ashlee Rezin
2:50pm
Thu Apr 11, 2013

49th Ward Hosts Community Budgeting Meeting Geared Towards Latino Community

Rogers Park residents gathered for the final installation of the 49th ward Participatory Budgeting Project Expo last night and listened to proposed infrastructure projects for their community.

The meeting, which was entirely in Spanish, was geared specifically for Rogers Park’s Hispanic residents.

Project organizers said they hoped the Spanish-language meeting would boost civic engagement from the community’s Hispanic population.

“It’s been a challenge to get the Latino community to participate, and the idea was that if we provided them with a space where they could dialogue about the projects it would be easier for Spanish-speakers to participate,” said Jose Melendez, a volunteer mentor to the Participatory Budgeting Spanish Language Committee and member of the Participatory Budgeting Leadership Committee.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:57pm
Tue Apr 9, 2013

Uptown Residents Unveil Community-Inspired Projects At Participatory Budgeting Expo

Uptown residents laid out their plans last night on how they’d like to divvy up the 46th Ward’s $1.3 million “menu money” budget as part of a new participatory budgeting process some Chicago aldermen are adopting.

Each year, Chicago aldermen receive city funds and decide how to use the pot of money for infrastructure needs in their wards, such as improving sidewalks, traffic signals and streetlights. 

The participatory budgeting process allows residents to decide how the money is spent based on a community vote.

Prior to participatory budgeting, Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said he and his staffers would ride their bikes down streets and alleys looking for areas of improvement in the ward, which was “very inefficient.”

“This (participatory budgeting) process understands that those people who know the ward the best are those who live in it,” Cappleman said to about 30 residents at an expo yesterday showcasing the proposed projects.

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