Alderman Joe Moore is hosting a free screening of a PBS documentary that features the 49th Ward’s participatory budgeting process. The screening is Sunday, October 30, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. at the New 400 Theater, 6746 North Sheridan Road. There will be a panel discussion about PB afterwards.
The film, “Count Me In,” was directed and produced by Ines Sommer; she will be one of the four panel participants, along with Cecelia Salinas, the 49th Ward’s PB liaison; Sarah Lisy, former Chair of the 49th Ward’s PB Leadership Team; and Chad Adams, principal of Sullivan High School, where the first student-led PB process took place.
To quote Ald. Moore, “Participatory budgeting is one answer to the question, how do you get citizens, who have become cynical about politics and frustrated with voting, involved in the decision-making process about what government does and how things get done?
The film traces the growth of Participatory Budgeting from its US. beginning in the 49th Ward and shows residents pitching ideas for a variety of projects, including street repairs, bike lanes and community gardens. Projects get researched, proposals crafted, and at the end, the entire community is invited to vote.
“Count Me In” explores the ups and downs of this new tool, offering an engaging, unvarnished look at what it will take to revitalize democracy from the ground up, not just in Chicago, but across the nation.”
Moore described PB as “a process that is changing how we talk about democracy.”
It’s a conversation that needs to continue in the 50th Ward.