Every year, each alderman is allocated $1.3 million in Aldermanic Menu funds -- yes, there is literally a menu to spend on infrastructure. In most wards, this money is allocated by the alderman, with varying degrees of input from city departments, staff, and residents. The 45th Ward, however, uses a process called participatory budgeting to give power to its residents to make real decisions that affect their lives.
They are in the beginning stages of the 2018 participatory budgeting cycle and want to reach as many residents as possible to join in on the process. Beginning May 4, they will host five (5) neighborhood assemblies where they will gather infrastructure improvement ideas from stakeholders. Past ideas have included pedestrian refuge islands, the Independence Park playground, pedestrian bump-outs, and bike lanes along Milwaukee.
The neighborhood assemblies will take place on:
- Thursday, May 4, from 6:00-7:30 PM at St. John's Episcopal, 3857 N. Kostner;
- Saturday, May 6, from 11:00 AM-12:30 PM at the Jefferson Park Library Branch, 5363 W. Lawrence;
- Monday, May 8, from 6:00-7:30 PM at Hitch Elementary School, 5625 N. McVicker;
- Tuesday, May 9, from 6:00-7:30 PM at Eden United Church of Christ, 5051 W. Gunnison; and
- Thursday, May 11, from 6:00-7:30 PM at the Filament Theatre, 4041 N. Milwaukee