Arts and Culture

We live in the cultural capital of the world. And, as you know, that artistic expression is not confined to Manhattan. Our neighborhoods are populated with exciting authors, artists, actors, and other creative professionals. We need to support these members of our community that bring beauty into our world, and encourage each other to express ourselves artistically.

Participatory Budgeting Ballot Projects - 2012

2013 Participatory Budgeting projects to be announced soon!

After months of hard work evaluating hundreds of project ideas, our team of community budget delegates have compiled the following list of Participatory Budgeting ballot projects. Now it's up to you to choose which projects will be funded. Then cast your vote the weekend of March 31-April 1, 2012.

You can vote for up to (but no more than) five projects - which projects will you choose? Read more »

Giving The People What They Want in Brooklyn: Participation

Curbed
01/27/2012

Brooklyn residents have an idea for you to consider. Hundreds and hundreds of ideas. Brooklyn Councilman Brad Lander has open-sourced his constituent services. Rather than sit back and field complaints and requests from constituents and then respond on a case-by-case basis, Lander is experimenting with participatory budgeting, which seeks out residents' priorities that they want their elected representative to fight for. Read more »

Democracy is Inspiring

Participatory budgeting neighborhood assembly

Last fall, as part of our new participatory budgeting initiative, we asked for your ideas for projects that would improve our neighborhoods. Nearly 1,000 of you answered the call and offered your ideas – from subway station improvements, to new community spaces, to upgrades to local playgrounds. You can view all of the ideas people submitted here.

Since then, a team of 100 community volunteers have been working in seven “budget delegate” committees to research and evaluate these ideas, to figure out which ones are feasible, and determine how much they would cost.

They are now working to put together the ballot – at the end of March, you will be able to vote on which projects will get funded. Read more »

Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District Statement

Joint Statement of
Council Member Stephen Levin & Council Member Brad Lander
On the Affirmation of the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District
January 24, 2012

We are pleased to affirm the designation of the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District as a historic district in its entirety.

After close consideration, we believe that this new historic district will strengthen the character of Downtown Brooklyn, allowing for new development and growth, like the new retail space planned for the Municipal Building, while preserving the graceful, historic, early-generation skyscrapers that make it Brooklyn’s civic center. Read more »

2011 Annual Report

Over the past year, people in NYC and around the globe have called for government that is more accountable to the people. I’ve worked to achieve a high standard of accountability – in that spirit I’m pleased to share this annual report on what we accomplished in 2011, what we learned, and what we’re hoping to do in the year to come. You can view the report below, download it, or explore our interactive map of accomplishments from the past year.

 

So much work, so little time! PB committee seeks best projects for Brooklyn

PB culture and community facilities committee meeting

Participatory Budgeting Update from Lizzette Gonzalez of the Culture & Community Facilities Committee

On Thursday, December 8, 2011, the Culture & Community Facilities Committee of the Participatory Budgeting Project met at PS 58 in Carroll Gardens to discuss which of the many projects proposed at public meetings in the fall we should pursue with further research.

The projects delegated to our committee included libraries, community spaces, public art, community wi-fi, soup kitchens and homeless shelters. Read more »

Of Dumpster Pools and Solar Panels: Checking In on NYC’s Participatory Budgeting Project

Channel 13 WNET
12/12/2011

Participatory budgeting, an experiment in democratic engagement that launched in New York City this fall, allows citizens to suggest how their tax dollars should be spent, and then to vote on the proposed ideas.

Hundreds of people in the districts of the four  Council members involved — Brad LanderJumaane WilliamsMelissa Mark-Viverito and Eric Ulrich — attended public assemblies over the past few months to share their ideas on how to spend approximately $1 million per district in capital funds. The proposals are now being considered by volunteer committees and will be put to a vote this spring. Read more »

Participatory Budgeting delegate committees get to work

PB budget delegate training

Participatory Budgeting update from Maggie Tobin of the Streets & Sidewalks Committee:

Monday evening, November 6th, the budget delegates from the 39th District all met at P.S. 230 in Kensington to kick off the long and arduous (but truly fun and fascinating!) process of deciding how we would like to spend a million dollars from Councilmember Brad Lander’s discretionary funds in our collective community. It was a very interesting evening, especially because I met so many new people from all over the district, each with wonderful ideas on how we can improve our neighborhoods. Read more »

Audio: Participatory Budgeting

The Brian Lehrer Show
10/21/2011

Brad Lander, Brooklyn City Councilman (D-39), and Melissa Mark-Viverito, city council member representing East Harlem and parts of the Bronx and Upper West Side, and member of the council's Progressive Caucus, discuss their new plan to involve constituents in budget allocation.

Read more »