The community voted, and Ravenswood Houses won. The development now has a new basketball court thanks to Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, Participatory Budgeting, and the youth of the development.
The basketball court was funded through Council Member Van Bramer’s participatory budgeting process, in which a district’s members vote on community improvement projects to be funded by public dollars. The $350,000 basketball court was one of the most popular projects in the 2016 budgeting cycle.
“I am proud to have allocated $350,000 through my Participatory Budgeting initiative to renovate this essential gathering space for the Ravenswood community,” Council Member Van Bramer said. “These new basketball courts will enable residents of all ages to play, exercise, and build community together. I am dedicated to improving quality of life at Ravenswood in every way I can.”
Ravenswood Resident Association President Carol Wilkins applauded the efforts of the young people of Ravenswood. In 2016, Participatory Budgeting voting was open to anyone 14 and older; now, children as young as 11 can vote on projects.
“The children, at the time of voting, got the neighborhood and the community to come together and vote for the court,” Ms. Wilkins said. “Basketball is another outlet for them; it will give them something to do and it’s something the kids worked for, got, and I’m just so glad it’s done.”
On May 2, Council Member Van Bramer and Ms. Wilkins joined Ravenswood residents for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new basketball court.