Alderman Joe Moore of Chicago’s 49th Ward recently allocated $1.3 million to be set aside for whatever project or projects residents chose. An article on Governing.com explores Chicago’s participatory budget process:
Alderman Moore’s little experiment in citizen engagement is also known as participatory budgeting (PB). It started in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1989, as a way to reintroduce democracy to a country that had been under military rule for many years. Since then, it has spread to more than 3,000 cities globally, and in 2009, Chicago became the first U.S. city to try it. For Moore, PB was so popular with his constituents that he credits it with reviving his political fortunes. After barely beating his opponent in a 2007 runoff, he handily won re-election last year.
You can read more here.