Four additional Council Members – including – announced that they will be introducing participatory budgeting to their districts.
Last year, four Council Members had introduced participatory budgeting — , D-Brooklyn, Melissa Mark-Viverito, D-Manhattan, Eric Ulrich, R-Queens, and Jumaane Williams, D-Brooklyn — and now 1.3 million New Yorkers may have a direct say in how their tax dollars are spent on projects in their neighborhood.
Through the first cycle of participatory budgeting, local priorities and infrastructure projects were discussed at 27 public meetings during the fall and winter, which were then voted on by over 6,000 New Yorkers in March.
Some project that received funding during the first cycle were: $150,000 for the E-Tech Campus at P.S. 269, $80,000 for new books and equipment for the Kensington library, $100,000 for transportation for seniors and a Meals-on-Wheels delivery van in East Harlem, and $147,000 for volunteer fire departments in the Far Rockaways.
“After seeing the success of participatory budgeting in neighboring districts, I’m proud to join my colleagues in utilizing the participatory budgeting process this year,” said Councilmember Levin, D-Brooklyn, in a statement. “Participatory budgeting will increase civic engagement, foster dialogue and cooperation amongst the diverse communities I represent, and allow Brooklynites to make real decisions about how to spend their own tax dollars.”
“I am excited to begin the second year of participatory budgeting here in the 45th District,” said Councilmember Jumaane Williams. “This process was truly a transformational one for my office and our community alike, as we learned a new way to best serve the voice and the needs of the people.”
“This year, for the first time, the city budget contains neighborhood projects that were selected by the voters,” said Councilmember Brad Lander. “Thanks to four more City Councilmembers who are willing to try something new, over one million New Yorkers will be deciding how to spend city funds on projects in their communities.”