I am a member of the Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee, convened by the University of Illinois Nathalie Voorhees Center for Neighborhood and Community Improvement and the Participatory Budgeting Project. The role of the Steering Committee is to work with the University, community based organizations and members of City Council to bring participatory budgeting to every ward in the City. The 49th Ward, headed by Alderman Joe Moore, is the first and only ward in the city that has an active participatory budgeting process. Alderman Moore, his staff and ward volunteers have been very helpful in our understanding of how the process works in the 49th Ward. We are taking lessons learned from their experiences to apply to what we hope will be a city wide program in which each alderman works with their constituents to identify and prioritize infrastructure projects that will be funded through their annual $1.3 million infrastructure menu. The menu covers things like street lights, curbs, gutters, sidewalks, street resurfacing, etc. It does not cover costs for running programs and services.
The 49th Ward process is set up such that resident-headed committees identify improvements that should be made, do the research as to how much the improvements cost and interface with the City agency responsible for the work. The committees then hold assemblies where they make presentations to ward residents. The projects are refined, and then later included on a ballot, to be voted on by community residents on a day set for voting. On the day of voting, residents go to one of the local schools to cast their votes. If they wish, they can walk through an exhibit area to review displays of the projects and speak with committee members who are promoting the various projects.
To date, there are a handful of aldermen from other wards who have signed onto the process, or have expressed strong interest. These include Alderman Leslie Hairston (5th), Alderman Ameya Pawar (47), Alderman Scott Waguespack (32) and Alderman Ricardo Munoz (22). To date, Alderman Munoz is the only West Side Alderman to sign on or show interest.
Do you think participatory budgeting should be implemented on the West Side? Why or why not? Would you be interested in learning more about the process? Please let me know.
May 24, 2012 edition of the North Lawndale News. This edition includes a copy of a letter to the editor from the Lawndale Alliance and the Progressive Action Coalition for Education regarding our reasons for opposing HB4277-Amendment 1.
May 24 Pub 12
Chicago Aldermen recently approved of a $7 billion infrastructure trust to privately finance capital projects for the city in years to come. Click onto the link below to download a copy of Valerie’s letter to Aldermen urging them to strengthen the ordinance.
<a title=”View Letter to Aldermen Regarding the Chicago Investment Trust 4-23-12 on Scribd” href=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/90807901/Letter-to-Aldermen-Regarding-the-Chicago-Investment-Trust-4-23-12″ style=”margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block; text-decoration: underline;”>Letter to Aldermen Regarding the Chicago Investment Trust 4-23-12</a><iframe class=”scribd_iframe_embed” src=”http://www.scribd.com/embeds/90807901/content?start_page=1&view_mode=list&access_key=key-2grai8wagi53vs8l1wwq” data-auto-height=”true” data-aspect-ratio=”0.772727272727273″ scrolling=”no” id=”doc_94477″ width=”100%” height=”600″ frameborder=”0″></iframe>
Dwayne Truss and I will be guests on the Garfield Major Show on May 13, 2012. We will discuss a number of topics on the call-in show, including the impact changes to legislation surrounding school boundaries could have on North Lawndale and Austin Schools, and the impact the upcoming Cook County redistricting process could have on local residents of North Lawndale, Austin, East and West Garfield. The show goes from 10:00 pm to midnight on Sunday evenings, on AM-1450 (WRLL). You can stream live on http://wrll1450.com/english/personalities/index.html
I am deeply honored that AustinTalks.org carried my op ed piece on the Cook County redistrricting process. http://austintalks.org/2012/05/redistricting-of-cook-county-board-to-be-determined-in-coming-weeks/
The Mayor’s TIF Reform Panel had a public meeting on TIF Reform on July 28, 2011. Here is a copy of my public remarks.
Public Comments-TIF Reform 7-28-11
Here is a list of articles and resources that could be helpful as you learn about the State’s redistricting process.
Redistricting Articles and Resources
Happy New Year. I just received news that I have been endorsed by the Independent Voters-Independent Precinct Organization (IVI-IPO) for Alderman of the 24th Ward. This is a great way for me to start the New Year. God is good!
The IVI–IPO has been in existence since 1944. It has been dedicated to good government activism and an idealistic vision of open, honest government in Illinois through pragmatic means that confront cynicism and corruption with equal force. The organization’s primary tools are voter’s registration, voter information and candidate endorsement. They also lobby on behalf of governmental reforms designed to open the system and better inform the public on the political process.
The IVI–IPO is a not-for-profit, multi-partisan, independent political organization. Our endorsements reach hundreds of thousands of voters throughout the greater Chicagoland area. Their work on campaign finance and ethics reform in the past and in the present has gotten high marks from all quarters and our commitment to good government is as strong now as it has ever been.
The IVI–IPO Mission Statement
IVI-IPO’s mission is to achieve social justice through good government by increasing voter participation and knowledge, by providing a framework for candidate evaluation, and by electing responsive government officials.
You may visit http://www.iviipo.org/2011Endorsements.html to see their full list of endorsements.
Posted by Valerie