Participatory Budgeting – The People’s Budget!

What is Participatory Budgeting?

Each year, the ward is allotted $1.5 million of the City’s budget to be used for a “menu” of infrastructure maintenance, projects, and improvements. Projects that are funded by this menu money should stand the test of time (at least 5 years). Examples of permanent infrastructure improvements might include alley and street resurfacing, sidewalk repairs, park improvements, speed humps, or public art projects.

The People’s Budget, CBS News: Alderperson Andre Vásquez, 40th Ward, explains how the People’s Budget process works. (Video length, 2:54)

Participatory Budgeting in the 40th Ward

Each ward has its own method of soliciting feedback and allocating funds. The 40th Ward has chosen to follow the Participatory Budgeting (PB) framework for a more inclusive and democratic process of Participatory Budgeting (what we call, The People’s Budget). Through this process, $1 million of menu money is directed toward addressing infrastructure project proposals produced by residents and community committees, with viable projects that meet the needs of the community ultimately selected through a community vote. (The remaining $500,000 is held for emergency repairs and other needs that may arise during the year!)

Our vision is to build a stronger community with an equitable distribution of public resources through a democratic and participatory process. We aspire to empower people and give the community control over real money.

What improvements would you like to see in your community?

Community input and cooperation aids us in directing our menu money budget to areas with the most need, which allows us to gain the most value for every dollar.

Have a Repair Project?

Submissions accepted on a rolling basis.

We accept potential menu repair projects on a rolling basis to supplement our own surveying. If there is a repair in your neighborhood that you’d like us to consider, let us know!

Submit a Special Project Idea!

Submissions accepted through September.

Special projects can be submitted by anyone, but only 40th Ward residents (regardless of immigration status) over the age of 14 can vote come November. Submit your ideas!

Vote November 1 through December 31

Your vote in the Participatory Budget ballot in November will determine what percentage of the Menu budget will go towards repairs vs. special projects, as well as which special projects receive funding!

The People’s Budget Committee reviews submissions, vets them (receives cost estimates and timelines) and develops feasible projects into ballot items for public vote each November.

2023 – 2024 Projects

We are pleased to share that we had close to 1500 ballots (3X participation numbers from the previous year) entered for our People’s Budget Program! Currently, we are calculating results, and will share them in the coming weeks. Thank you so much to all who participated in this community-centered process!

2021 – 2022 Projects

In early March of 2020, our office held its first Participatory Budget vote with 441 community members casting a ballot!

441 Votes

  • $700,000 for Street & Alley Resurfacings
  • $170,000 Public Safety Cameras
  • $120,000 Water Fountain Installations and Improvements
  • $60,000 Pedestrian Island on Western / Winnemac


The following represents the general timeline of our participatory budgeting process from the collection of ideas through implementation.

Idea Collection, Committee Creation

Neighbors brainstorm ideas of special projects they would like to see in their communities, application are accepted to join the People’s Budget Committee.

Project Development & Vetting

The People’s Budget Committee reviews and vets Special Project ideas.

The 40th Ward Office vets infrastructure repair requests.

Democracy in Action: Vote!

Residents of the 40th Ward vote on how much of the $1 Million in funds go towards repairs, and how much should go towards each special project idea.

Project Implementation

The 40th Ward Office coordinates with the appropriate agencies and departments to make the infrastructure upgrades YOU voted on!

Archived Projects and Reports:

  • A diverse group of neighbors illustrates participatory budgeting

    Participatory Budgeting 2023-2024 is here!

    You can always find more information on the 40th Ward’s Participatory Budgeting (PB) page on our website. How does Participatory Budgeting Work– A Reminder Idea Collection, Committee Creation Neighbors brainstorm and submit Special Project ideas they want to see in their communities and applications are accepted to join the PB Committee. Look out for 40th…

    Read More

News & Updates: People’s Budget

Contact the 40th Ward Office

Our office works to ensure you feel supported, connected, and valued. Please reach out with any questions or concerns you may have – we are here to help!