Livable Neighborhoods

Keeping our neighborhoods and communities safe, clean and engaged takes participation from all of us. Working together with area schools, local police precincts, civic and neighborhood groups, and local merchants and businesses we can ensure that all the neighborhoods of the 39th district remain friendly, safe and great places to live.

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 »

Don't Shop Lowe's ... Shop Local

Big box home improvement chain Lowe's attaches the tagline "Never Stop Improving" to its television ads. But this week, Lowe's corporate self-improvement efforts ground to a halt when it caved to pressure from an anti-Muslim organization and pulled its advertising from the reality show "All-American Muslim," which depicts the lives of five families in Dearborn, Michigan. Read more »

Budget delegates for the Parks and Recreation committee get real

Photo of JC Martinez-Sifre

Participatory Budgeting update from JC Martinez-Sifre of the Parks and Recreation Committee:

The reality is beginning to set in for budget delegates engaged in Councilmember Brad Lander's initiative to make participatory budgeting a functional reality in his district.

“I think we’re all beginning to understand how big a process this is going to be,” said Budget Delegate, Michael Hickey of Kensington. The delegates, if they weren't already aware, are coming to understand that this is not going to be a brief exercise in spending a million dollars of public funds. 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 »

New Program Lets Taxpayers Do More than Gripe About City Spending

Gotham Gazette
12/02/2011

From the Occupy protestors to millions expressing disgust with debt ceiling debacle, many American are angry about how the government spends money,. something most of them have little control over outside the polling booth. Now, four New York City Council members are trying to change this and give residents a direct say in where the funding goes, at least on a local level.

"I walk down my street every day, wishing I could do something about the conditions," said Ali Abdul Rahman, a resident of Brooklyn’s 39th district, who is getting the opportunity to do some budget . "Well, now there is." Read more »

Committee Using Participatory Budgeting to Address Public Safety

Participatory Budgeting update from Rachel Fine of the Public Safety, Public Health, and Sanitation Committee:

The first meeting of the Public Safety, Public Health, and Sanitation Committee was a huge success. Our group is the smallest of all of the committees, but boy are we mighty!

Our group consists of individuals of all different ages, backgrounds, and parts of District 39. But despite (or perhaps because of?) our many differences, we worked incredibly well together and made some huge strides forward at our first meeting. 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 »

Ready, set ... PB!

We're off-and-running with participatory budgeting.  After much preparation -- thanks again to our district organizing committee and all the volunteers helping so far -- we've started the outreach to get hundreds of people to contribute ideas & help shape the projects that will eventually appear on the ballot. Read more »