ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Have you ever hated how your tax dollars are being spent?

Residents in St. Louis’ sixth ward, which includes swaths of downtown, Midtown, and the near south side, are getting to vote on what projects their alderman will spend money on.

It’s called participatory budgeting.

“We’re talking about direct democracy, where people have a direct say in what’s going on, especially in their own neighborhoods,” says Zach Chasnoff, organizer for Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment.

To make sure someone is a legitimate voter, Chasnoff says they ask everyone to bring information verifying their name and address. The group then looks up the address to make sure it falls within the sixth ward.

Voting will continue through the end of the week for how alderman Christina Ingrassia should spent $100,000 in “ward money.”

Most projects on the ballot have to do with beautification and/or parks.

Ivan Martin wants the ward to look better, and he’s hoping additional trash cans will achieve that goal.

“I get very frustrated when I see trash on the ground,” he says. “But I can’t get too upset if there’s no place to put it.”

And he says he chose trash cans, among other projects, on the first day of voting.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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