Columbia Waterfront

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)

Participatory Budgeting: Vote Results

April 2, 2012
For Immediate Release

Over 2,000 Residents Turn Out
In First Participatory Budgeting Vote
 

Seven winning projects in Councilmember Lander’s district to be funded with $1 million in City funds

This weekend, 2,213 residents of City Councilmember Brad Lander’s diverse Brooklyn district voted in NYC’s first “participatory budgeting” election, a groundbreaking initiative that lets community members decide how to spend their own tax dollars on projects in their neighborhood. Voters selected from among twenty projects proposed by neighborhood residents. The seven projects receiving the most votes will be prioritized for funding as part of the City’s FY2013 budget, which will be adopted in June, with just over $1 million in City capital funds committed by Councilmember Lander:

Bathroom Renovation for the Children of PS 124 - $150,000 

Renovate two dysfunctional bathrooms that serve over 136 of the youngest students daily in a high-needs elementary school. 958 votes

Brooklyn Neighbors Composting - $165,000

Pest-free, smell-free compost system near Gowanus Canal uses 1 ton/day of kitchen food scraps collected at local greenmarkets and schools to create rich soil for our gardens, parks, and trees. 919 votes

 District 39 Tree Planting - $100,000

Plant 100 new trees and install tree guards on blocks with few or no trees (Parks Department will contribute an additional $85,000 to this effort for tree planting). 767 votes

 Technology: A Better Future for PS 154 / PS 130 Students - $140,000

Installation of 15 Smartboards (PS 130), 45 13" Macbook computers with 2 carts and 2 wireless printers (PS 154 grades 1, 3, & 4). 758 votes

 Prospect Park Pedestrian Pathway Rehabilitation - $205,000

Repair Prospect Park pedestrian paths near Park Circle and Long Meadow to prevent flooding, add 10 trash cans in park. 648 votes

 Pedestrian Hazards at the Prospect Expressway - $200,000

Repairs & additions to badly damaged and dangerous 9 lane Prospect Expressway pedestrian crossing at Church Avenue, area and landscape. 606 votes

 Kensington Library Resources and Community Space - $80,000

New books/DVDs for library, equipment for meetings, storytelling, rehearsals, and small performances promoting Kensington's cultural diversity. 582 votes

Vote totals for all projects can be viewed here.  Read more »

Putting In Their 2 Cents

New York Times
03/30/2012

ON a weeknight in mid-March, a room in the Park Slope Armory Y.M.C.A. that is frequently used for children’s birthday parties was packed with tables draped in pale yellow, 99-cent-store, vinyl coverings and topped with propped-up tri-fold poster boards.

About 100 people bumped and jostled their way to the snack table lined with bowls of popcorn and pretzels. Eager presenters button-holed passers-by. It looked like a middle-school science fair. But the buzz in the room wasn’t over homemade solar system models or photosynthesis; it was the sound of revolutionary civics in action. Read more »

Participatory Budgeting Experiment Enters the Home Stretch

Participatory budgeting expo
WNET
03/21/2012

Voters will soon judge New York City’s first experiment in participatory budgeting:  between March 25 and April 1, residents in the four participating New York City Council districts will cast their votes on the capital projects they deem most important for their community. Read more »

Our million dollar decision: please pledge to vote

UPDATE: See the full list of projects that will be on the ballot here.

This is our million dollar decision. How will we invest in our community to ensure that we have great schools, parks, and cultural institutions, safe streets, reliable transportation, and a healthy environment?

In Participatory Budgeting, you are the decision maker - and voting will begin later this month!

Can we count on you? Pledge to vote as part of participatory budgeting at BradLander.com/pbPledge. Read more »

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 »