New York City has a historically corrupt and non-transparent budgetting process. The New York City Council is also known for its extremely non-transparent funding structure whereby the Speaker of the Majority can determine a City Council Member's discertionary budget within a range of $3-$11 Million Dollars. The New York City Council has also had a slew of corruption scandels linking council members to patronage and clientialism.
As the first ward-based participatory budgeting experiment in the United States, the Participatory Budgeting Initiative in Chicago's 49th Ward began in November of 2009 with the goal of directly allocating a portion of the Alderman’s capital budget for the 49th Ward by residents. Citizens gathered to discuss, deliberate, and vote into implementation projects totaling $1.3 million dollars. Forming six themed committees of 16-20 residents each, the participants created 36 proposals to better the Ward’s infrastructure.