For the first time in the U.S., the city’s 49th Ward lets taxpayers directly decide how public money is spent. Residents of the ward were able to decide last year, through participatory budgeting, how to spend $1.3 million in taxpayer dollars. What are the benefits in participatory budgeting and what are its downfalls? Alderman Joe Moore of the 49th Ward and Elizabeth Vitell, Executive Director of the Rogers Park Community Council will be our guest speakers. Come learn more about this process and more at our Roving Café Society discussion!
Joe Moore is known as a pioneer for political reform, governmental transparency and democratic governance, and has represented Chicago's 49th Ward since 1991. Encompassing the majority of Chicago's Rogers Park community and portions of the Edgewater and West Ridge communities, the 49th Ward is one of the nation's most economically and racially diverse communities. Moore won re-election in 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. He serves on the following City Council Committees: Budget and Government Operations; Rules and Ethics; Energy, Environmental Protection and Public Utilities; Finance; Health; and Historical Landmark Preservation.
Elizabeth A. Vitell has been serving as the Executive Director of the Rogers Park Community Council and the Rogers Park Community Development Corporation since December of 2007. At that time, she returned to her roots in Rogers Park from Washington DC, where she worked for the International Justice Mission in strategic planning and outreach in connection with human rights advocacy in South America. Before moving to DC, Elizabeth served the Rogers Park community as a Board member and officer for many years and also as the representative of the City's Law Department’s Drug and Gang House Enforcement Section. Elizabeth speaks, reads and writes fluent Spanish.
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Created by The Public Square, a program of the Illinois Humanities Council, Café Society is a series of conversations where families, friends, neighbors, and citizens come together to discuss current events and other important political and social issues. By engaging in the meaningful exchange of ideas and perspectives, these conversations aim to enliven the core of democracy and empower the public. "Cafe Society with WBEZ" was started in 2009 as an annual collaboration whereby one of the monthly Roving Cafe Society discussions is hosted at each of WBEZ's facilities throughout the year.
Major sponsorship support for the Community Bureaus is provided in part by the Sara Lee Foundation.