For the past few years, City Council Member Stephen Levin has allowed the residents of District 33 to decide how to allocate at least $1 million of discretionary funds. And it’s time to submit ideas for next year! Need some inspiration? Here are winning ideas from other districts (26, 34, 35, 36, and 39). Or you can help Stephen Levin and his team brainstorm ideas at one of the upcoming neighborhood meetings!
Participatory budgeting has been going on in New York City for seven years now with District 33 joining during the second year. In short, “Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.” Yes, voters directly decide which of the proposed projects they feel should be funded and the popular vote wins. Projects are funded until the available money runs out. Earlier this year, 3,789 turned out to vote with the winners including bus clocks along the B62/B32 bus routes; a STEAM Lab for Samuel Dupont Elementary School/P.S. 31 (75 Meserole St); and upgraded electrical wiring at Monitor School/P.S. 110 (124 Monitor St).
A big part of the process is holding community meetings to hear what the district wants. District 33’s first meeting is tonight at Bushwick Inlet Park Headquarters (86 Kent Ave) at 6:30pm. Next week, there are two meetings. One at St. Francis College (180 Remsen St) on Tuesday the 26th–yes, District 33 goes all the way all the waterfront to Brooklyn Heights–and another meeting on Wednesday the 27th at the Polish Slavic Center (176 Java St). If you already have some ideas in mind, you can submit them directly to pbnyc @ council.nyc.gov, or through the city’s new online Participatory Budgeting map.
Located on the other side of the BQE/Southside/East Williamsburg/District 34 and know your Council Member is Antonio Reynoso? He participates with his district too. Ideas can be submitted directly to his office or also through the online map.
**Full disclosure: I’m on the Participatory Budgeting Committee this year for District 33 and will be at the two meetings in Greenpoint/Williamsburg. Come down and say hi!**