Framework under development on how to spend $3 million in stimulus money

At their Thursday meeting, members of the Evanston Participatory Budget Committee approved a plan to establish rules for a democratic process to decide how to spend $3 million in federal stimulus funds.

Two new resident-led committees will be tasked with writing, reviewing and approving a participatory budgeting rulebook for spending money for the City of Evanston from the American Bailout Act.

The rules will outline how resident proposals will be developed from ideas to vote-ready projects. It will address issues such as general goals and principles, project criteria, voter eligibility, and a specific timeline for the city to follow.

The participatory budget, or PP, is a process in which citizens give their opinion on how municipal money is spent.

In late July, the city opened the application for a participatory budget steering committee, which will take on the heavier work of drafting the full regulation.

Professor Matt Easterday, who leads the Northwestern University-based PB Evanston group in the city’s process consultation, told committee members Thursday that 32 residents had submitted applications to the steering committee, more than the places available.

“Fortunately, we have the problem of having a lot of applications … Evanston really turned out,” Easterday said. “If we take everyone who is interested and appears to be qualified, we have a gigantic steering committee that is going to be very difficult to make decisions on the rulebook.”

Three committees, three roles

Leave a Comment