Borough Park

Hurricane Recovery: Ways to Help Sunday

Here are some ways you can help out with hurricane relief efforts today (Sunday, November 4) at the two evacuation shelters in Park Slope, in Coney Island, and in Red Hook:

Read more »

Behind the Scenes of Participatory Budgeting

As a District Committee member, I have been focusing on getting the word out about participatory budgeting and engaging our district’s diverse communities in this process. Although the past few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity getting ready for the neighborhood assemblies, our outreach efforts have targeted a number of communities. Read more »

Self-government's appeal

Brooklyn Daily Eagle
10/03/2012

So who knows our neighborhood needs better than we do? A rhetorical question, of course, but one that gets at the heart of a City Council initiative called Participatory Budgeting.

In 2011-2012, Brad Lander was one of four NYC Councilmembers leading their districts in a program first hatched in Brazil and launched in this country in Chicago. The success of the actions taken in NYC’s four forward-thinking districts led to the program’s doubling—eight councilmembers, representing over one million New Yorkers, have dedicated a total of at least $10 million in NYC discretionary capital funds for the 2012-2013 program. It is we, the constituents, who decide how the money is spent. Read more »

Participatory Budgeting is Back

One year ago, we started an experiment: to give New Yorkers the power to decide how to spend $1 million of their tax dollars on projects in the neighborhood.

That experiment, Participatory Budgeting, was a huge success. Over 3,000 people participated, we received nearly a thousand ideas for projects in the community, and our small voting sites were overwhelmed with eager residents wanting to be part of what the New York Times called “revolutionary civics in action.” The seven projects with the most votes – projects for local schools, libraries, parks, and streets – received City funding and are moving forward.

Now we are starting again, with another $1 million and your great ideas. Read more »

A city budget we can be proud of

The City Council and Mayor Bloomberg reached an agreement this week on New York City’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget – one that invests in our kids and preserves funding for vital public services.

The City’s $68.7 billion budget is a statement of our priorities, and I am proud that those priorities reflect a deep belief in education (public schools continue to be the largest item by far), in core public services and infrastructure that make sure we have safe and vibrant communities, and in a strong safety net for those who need it (young, old, and in-between).

I’m also excited that, for the first time, the City’s budget includes items that you selected, through participatory budgeting. The seven items – totaling $1 million – that more than 2,200 of you voted for in March are being officially adopted as part of the City’s capital budget this week … and we’re launching a new webpage to keep you posted on their progress. Read more »

Remarks upon receiving Landmarks Conservancy Award

New York City Councilmember Brad Lander
Chair, New York City Council’s Landmarks Subcommittee
Remarks for Landmarks Conservancy’s Lucy G. Moses Award
Wednesday, April 26, 2012 Read more »

The Voters Speak: Yes to Bathrooms

New York Times
04/06/2012

The bathrooms won.

Last week’s Metropolitan cover article, “Putting In Their 2 Cents,” chronicled an experiment in participatory budgeting, in which residents of each of four City Council districts decided how to spend roughly $1 million of their council member’s budgets for neighborhood improvements. Voting on the proposals ended last Sunday, and votes were tallied last week. Read more »

Audio: Participatory Budgeting Winners

The Brian Lehrer Show
04/03/2012

Four city council districts let constituents decide how to allocate some funds. Brad LanderBrooklyn City Councilman (D 39), and Alexa Kasdan, director of research and policy for the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center, review the results. Plus Christine Petro, Windsor Terrace resident, and George Sanchez, Cobble Hill resident, talk about their projects that received funding.  Read more »

And the winning projects are …

residents wait to vote at Windsor Terrace Library

Wow! This weekend, more than 2,200 of you came out and took part in what the New York Times called “revolutionary civics in action” – NYC’s first experiment with a new form of hyper-local democracy, participatory budgeting.

I was deeply heartened by the energy that so many of you have put in since we launched the effort last fall, attending brainstorming meetings, joining delegate committees, and voting on the final slate of projects.

And now, I am proud to announce the winning projects from the vote:

  1. Renovation of two dysfunctional bathrooms at PS 124 ($150,000, 958 votes)
  2. Innovative community composting system near Gowanus Canal to turn 1 ton/day of food waste into soil ($165,000, 919 votes)
  3. Planting 100 new trees on blocks throughout the district with few or no trees ($100,000, 767 votes)
  4. New technology for PS 130 and PS 154 ($140,000, 758 votes)
  5. Repairing Prospect Park pedestrian paths to prevent flooding, and adding trash cans in the park ($205,000, 648 votes)
  6. Repairs and safety improvements at the dangerous Prospect Expressway/Church Avenue pedestrian crossing ($200,000, 606 votes)
  7. New books and equipment for the Kensington public library to enhance the branch’s use for meetings, storytelling, rehearsals, and small performances promoting Kensington's cultural diversity ($80,000, 582 votes)