What is Participatory Budgeting?

Participatory budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. PB gives ordinary people real decision-making power over real money. The process was first developed in Brazil in 1989, and there are now over 1,500 participatory budgets around the world.

Since 2012, Alderman Arena has given one million of its discretionary capital funds (“menu money”) to the community to decide how to spend through a participatory budgeting (PB) process.

It works like this:

• PB begins in the Spring with ward residents and stakeholders proposing spending ideas
• Next, volunteer community representatives take those ideas and develop them into project proposals.
• Finally, residents 14 years of age or older vote on projects, and the projects that receive the most votes are submitted by Alderman Arena for funding to the City of Chicago for implementation.

PB in the 45th Ward is part of the Participatory Budgeting Chicago (PB Chicago) initiative. For more information about PB or PB Chicago please visit www.pbchicago.org

Submit an idea online:

Fill out the Google from (below) to share what you think should be on the 2019 Participatory Budgeting ballot.

 Attend a Neighborhood Assembly:

Come to an assembly to share your ideas and help decide how to spend taxpayer money!

Submit Your Idea to an Idea Box or Wall:

Learn What Will be on The Ballot:

After volunteers spend the summer months developing idea submissions into ballot items, join us at various events throughout the ward to learn more about what will be on the ballot and when you can vote. More information regarding outreach events will be made available in the future.


45th Ward residents 14-years-old and up will have the opportunity to vote in the 2019 Participatory Budgeting cycle. Visit this space in the fall to learn more about when, where, and how you can vote.