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Mayor Emanuel announced today that he will lead two public town hall discussions with Chicagoans as an essential part of the process of developing the 2012 City budget proposal.
“My administration is committed to fostering a free and open discussion about our financial situation with the goal of working together to address our fiscal challenges for 2012 and beyond,” said Mayor Emanuel. “My door is open for any and all ideas that will save money, and I want to talk with people across Chicago to hear their thoughts and engage in a real discussion about the choices we must make.”
The town hall discussions will be held:
The open town hall discussions will be interactive, yet focused on the issue of developing a balanced budget for 2012. Mayor Emanuel will take questions about the budget from the assembled audience and address some ideas proposed by Chicagoans.
Residents across Chicago can contribute ideas on how to address the City’s fiscal challenges as well as get information on the town hall locations and times by calling 312.744.6670, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. They can also log on to the City’s interactive budget website, www.ChicagoBudget.org, to submit ideas, get information and join the conversation.
Two weeks ago, the Mayor’s Office launched www.ChicagoBudget.org to help Chicagoans to engage in the budget process by submitting ideas and discussing options to get the city’s fiscal house in order. To date, more than 1,800 Chicagoans have posted more than 5,000 ideas for discussion. Contributors have cast more than 33,000 votes on those proposals.
Users have contributed a wide range of ideas, from adopting cost-saving technology to reducing reliance on paper, reducing the amount of overtime paid by the city and having city vehicles run on alternative fuels.
The Mayor’s staff and officials throughout City government have been examining these ideas carefully, providing feedback and considering what can be implemented. At the beginning of the month, Mayor Emanuel called some of the most active online contributors to thank them for sharing their ideas and hear more about their solutions for stabilizing Chicago’s finances.
Additionally, Budget Director Alex Holt, Deputy Mayor Mark Angelson, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, CTA President Forrest Claypool, Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair, Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein, Streets and Sanitation Commissioner Tom Byrne, Chief Sustainability Officer Karen Weigert, Chief Technology Officer John Tolva, Water Commissioner Thomas Powers, Housing Commissioner Andrew Mooney, Cultural Affairs and Special Events Commissioner Michelle T. Boone and Policy Director Mike Simmons have all joined the discussion, posting more than 80 responses to contributors’ ideas on the www.ChicagoBudget.org forums.
Mayor Emanuel will deliver his budget proposal to the City Council in October.
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