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Geracaris’ Ninth Ward meeting explains participatory budgeting and guaranteed income pilot

Ninth Ward Council member Juan Geracaris introduced new city programs and provided updates to residents at a virtual ward meeting Thursday evening.

Juan Geracaris (City of Evanston photo)

The meeting started with a presentation by Northwestern University Professor Matt Easterday on how residents can get involved with the city’s new participatory budgeting process. Geracaris also told attendees about the city’s Guaranteed Income Pilot Programwhich is accepting applications through Aug. 29.

“I think it’s an exciting partnership with Northwestern, and I think it’s something that can have a great impact on struggling individuals and families,” Geracaris said.

Celia Carlino provided live Spanish interpretation for the structured part of the meeting, which was recorded. Here are some more highlights:

  • Geracaris introduced Max Seeley, a community organizer with Connections for the Homeless. Seeley said the organization is currently launching its “Equitable Zoning Project” to study structural issues in Evanston’s zoning code, and that he will be giving a presentation on the project at the September ward meeting.
  • Since EPD liaison Officer Corey McCray was unable to attend, Geracaris shared highlights of his Ninth Ward report, which showed that a third of incidents since the last Ward meeting in June have been theft-related. McCray residents advised to especially protect their vehicles by storing valuables out of sight and making sure they don’t leave the car unlocked or with the keys inside.
  • In response to feedback, Geracaris has opened a Ninth Ward Facebook pagewhere he will share updates and information on his votes similar to his Twitter account.
  • Geracaris will hold ward office hours and a neighborhood clean up from from 9 am – 10:30 am Saturday, Aug. 20 at Hartrey Avenue and Seward Street. He said during the meeting “a lot of folks who live in that neighborhood get garbage blown from the big box stores into their yards” and he is working with the stores to find a permanent solution.

Alex Harrison joins the RoundTable for the summer in between his undergraduate and graduate studies at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. More by Alex Harrison

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