Some residents in Chicago's 50th Ward are pushing to bring participatory budgeting to their community.
The People of West Ridge organization is collecting voter signatures to put the issue on the November ballot in the 50th Ward, which is represented by Ald. Debra Silverstein. The 50th Ward covers the West Ridge neighborhood and other far North Side communities.
Participatory budgeting lets residents decide how to spend $1 million in aldermanic "menu money" for infrastructure needs. The process is currently being used in seven Chicago wards, including the 10th, 17th, 31st, 35th, 36th, 45th and 49th.
People of West Ridge's President Kathleen Reyes said 50th Ward residents are the first in the city who are "trying to get participatory budgeting approved without the alderman on board."
"What we're hoping is that we'll have such a high voter turnout with a high percentage of the vote that it's something she's going have to take a stand on," Reyes told DNAinfo Chicago.
The group needs 1,674 signatures for the ballot referendum and has thus far collected more than 100 over the first three days of the campaign.