Participatory Budgeting Meeting Tomorrow

The first meeting of the campaign to bring participatory budgeting to the 50th Ward will be held tomorrow, Tuesday, June 7, from 6:15 to 7:30 p.m. at the Northtown Library (6435 North California).

The basics of participatory budgeting will be explained by Tom Desmond, a member of the Leadership Team of PB49 in the 49th Ward.

Meeting participants will also have the opportunity to sign the petition in support of placing an advisory referendum on the 50th Ward ballot in November.  The vote on that referendum will reflect the sentiments of the community. An overwhelming vote in favor of participatory budgeting will be the first step toward more transparency in ward decision-making.

A successful petition requires the support of 8% of registered voters in the Ward, based on the umber of votes cast in the 2014 election for Illinois governor. That means at least twice that number must sign the petition to offset any challenges from opponents.  Approximately 1,600 valid signatures are all that’s necessary, but that total must represent 8% of registered voters in each precinct. Political reform ain’t easy.

[Although only registered voters can sign the petition, participatory budgeting voting is open to all ward residents as well as business owners and parents with children in neighborhood schools.]

The signed and notarized petitions must be presented to the Chicago Board of Elections for signature verification. Opponents will then have an opportunity to challenge individual signatures, supporters will have a chance to prove the signatures valid, and CBOE will decide if there are enough valid signatures to put the issue on November’s ballot.

All of this must be accomplished by August 15.  It’s do-able.

If you’d like to volunteer to circulate a petition in your precinct, please contact




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