People’s Workshop on Participatory Budgeting

History of Participatory Budgeting (PB)

  • First started in Brazil
  • Chicago first city in US to have it
  • Collaborative effort of UIC Great Cities institute, our city our voice and over 30 other nonprofits and community organizations

How does it work?

  • Aldermen traditionally get $1.3 million to use on infrastructure projects
  • Aldermen take $1 million dollars of that money and put it towards a collaborative process where citizenry can vote on which projects should be funded
  • Anyone can participate – high schools have voted on projects that can be funded through their wards

What happens to the participants?

  • People sometimes are combative when first get involved because government has not been responsive
  • Often regular folks will suggest the same type of projects that policy analysts and other experts have previously recommended
  • People are much more likely to vote and get engaged in other aspects of civic process after PB

How does it stand now?

  • 7 wards actively participate in the annual process
  • Other words have participated in the past but are not participating now
  • Some wards do their own version of this process but don’t call it PB