Gowanus

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 »

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 »

Education Committee Asks the Hard Questions

Participatory Budgeting update from Jason Boutin of the Education Committee:

It's probably safe to say the delegates of the Education committee got more than they bargained for out of the Participatory Budget process. This is said from the perspective of the effort undertaken as well as from the rewarding nature of the work. It's been a tremendously interesting journey so far, but probably not the one anyone expected. Read more »

Participatory Budgeting – Turning Your Ideas Into Projects

Kensington curb

Participatory Budgeting update from Michael Fettman of the Streets & Sidewalks Committee:

What a great feeling. After weeks and months of meetings and learning about the Participatory Budgeting process, going through so many ideas submitted by our friends and neighbors, and learning all about how to maneuver and comply with all the government bureaucracies, we finally got to the point of putting the finishing touches on to the proposals that we are ready to submit for review. Soon, our neighbors will get to give us their input on our proposals, which will be put up for a vote in March to decide which ones will get funded. Read more »