Participatory Budgeting Forum

come check out this exciting forum to hear from a city councilor in chicago whose residents democratically decided how to use $1.3 million of their tax dollars to improve their own neighborhood. participatory budgeting is happening across the globe, lets bring it from chicago to boston!


The Fund Our Communities/Cut Military Spending 25% Coalition invites you to learn about a PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING organizing initiative in Chicago.

Join us and hear CHICAGO ALDERMAN JOE MOORE in a lively dialogue on how community residents in Chicago’s 49th Ward collectively decided how to spend a $1.3 million discretionary budget in their district. Participatory budgeting offers residents decision-making power over their local budget.

When:TUESDAY - APRIL 12, 2011
6 – 8 PM


For more information call: 617-282-3783

Coalition Members: Association of Haitian Women, Bikes Not Bombs, Chinese Progressive Association, Chuck Turner, City Life/Vida Urbana, Codman Square Health Center, Community Change Inc., D7 Roundtable Inc., Dorchester People for Peace, Dorchester-Roxbury Labor Committee, La Alianza Hispana, Louis D. Brown Peace Institute, New England United 4 Justice, People of Boston Branches, Project Care & Concern, SEIU 1199, Sisters at Work Youth Project, South Boston Residents for Peace, Survivor Inc., Teens Against Gang Violence, Union of Minority Neighborhoods
Supporting Organizations: Boston Workers Alliance, Project HIP-HOP, Reflect & Strengthen, Youth Jobs Coaliton

Democratic Deliberation and Decision Making at the Local Level
Ash Center for Democratic Governance, Harvard Kennedy School
Joe Moore, City of Chicago
Wednesday, April 13, 2011, 4:10-5:30 p.m.
124 Mount Auburn, Suite 200-North
Ash Center

About the Seminar
Around the United States, city leaders are increasingly asking their residents for suggestions about budget spending. In Chicago’s 49th Ward, a city council member is going one step further. Through a novel experiment in democracy known as participatory budgeting (PB), Alderman Joe Moore is not just asking their opinions—he is giving his constituents the power to make real decisions about how to spend their tax dollars.

PB is an innovative model of democratic deliberation and decision-making in which ordinary citizens decide how to allocate part of a municipal budget. First developed in Brazil, PB has been implemented in more than 1,000 municipalities worldwide, but not in the United States until last year’s experiment in Chicago. After nearly a year of planning, 49th Ward residents, working with the Alderman, developed a process that culminated in a community-wide election when more than 1,600 ward residents decided directly how to spend Moore’s $1.3 million discretionary capital budget.

About Joe Moore
Known as a pioneer for political reform, governmental transparency, and democratic governance, Joe Moore has represented Chicago’s 49th Ward since 1991. Encompassing the majority of Chicago’s Rogers Park community and portions of the Edgewater and West Ridge communities, the 49th Ward is one of the nation’s most economically and racially diverse communities. The Nation magazine in 2008 named Moore the “Most Valuable Local Official” in the county in recognition of his successful sponsorship of a City of Chicago resolution against the war in Iraq; his leadership in the national organization Cities for Peace; and his sponsorship of measures requiring living wages for employees of “big box” retail stores and emission restrictions on Chicago’s coal-fired power plants.

In 2009, Moore launched the first participatory budgeting process in the US, inviting residents of his ward to decide directly how to spend his $1.3 million discretionary capital budget. Due in part to popular acclaim for his participatory budgeting initiative, Moore last month was re-elected to a sixth term with 72 percent of the vote, his largest percentage ever.

For more information on participatory budgeting, see the following links:

1) ARTICLE - Government can’t solve budget battles? Let citizens do it.

2) ARTICLE - Chicago’s $1.3 Million Experiment in Democracy

3) VIDEO - Democracy in Action: Participatory Budgeting in the 49th Ward

4) WEBSITE - The Participatory Budgeting Project

Comments are closed.