March madness, PBNYC style! (a.k.a "Meet Your Ballot")

March madness, PBNYC style! (a.k.a "Meet Your Ballot")

March madness! For some, that means the NCAA college basketball tournament. Good luck choosing your brackets.

But here in NYC, March also brings another great set of choices:  Participatory Budgeting (PBNYC) Vote Week. The time of year when New Yorkers gather together for “revolutionary civics in action” and vote to fund community projects, submitted by their neighbors, designed to improve our neighborhood public schools, parks, libraries, and more.

PBNYC has become a powerful exercise in democracy -- at a time when our democratic system is facing very real threats. Collectively, Americans have done a poor job acting as stewards of our democracy, as a vehicle for coming together, across lines of difference, to solve problems. PBNYC is one of the best answers.

The 2017 ballot for our district is here. Your neighbors have come together in small groups to brainstorm and develop these 19 great projects. Check them out and get ready to fill out your PBNYC bracket.   

PBNYC vote week will run from March 25th through April 2nd. You’ll have the chance to vote at our next #GetOrganizedBK meeting on Monday, March 27th. The PBNYC Project Expo will be on Wednesday, March 29th. And we’ll have poll sites throughout the district. 

Please take three simple actions right now: 

1. Pledge to vote.

2. Check out the PBNYC 2017 ballot here.

3. Sign up to volunteer, a great way to spread democracy and meet your neighbors.

You’ll be able to vote for 5 capital projects (the winning projects up to $1.5 million will be funded).

  • CHiPS Mobile Showers for Homeless Neighbors

  • Renovate a Beloved, Busy, and Bare-Bones Dog Run

  • Install ¼ mile markers on Prospect Park Drive

  • Bring Water to Thomas Cuite Park (“Froggy Park”)

  • More Street Trees Throughout the District

  • Realtime Bus Arrival Info near Subway Stops

  • Safer street crossing for middle school students

  • FabLab for MS 442 Project-Based STEM Learning

  • A/C for Sweltering PS230 Cafeteria

  • Repavement of PS 130 Schoolyard  

And you’ll vote for 3 programming projects (the winning projects up to $50,000 will be funded):

  • Tech for Immigrant Families & After-School Programs

  • Sharing Theater Arts with Developmentally Disabled NYers

  • Creative Engagement for Alzheimer’s Patients & Training for Caregivers

  • Start-up Support for New Tenant Union

  • Empower Immigrant Workers by Supporting Local Cooperative

  • STEM Robotics Kits for PS133 Science Club

  • Talking about Race and Equity in Distr. 15 Schools

  • #GOBK Bystander Intervention Trainings

Dozens of volunteer “budget delegates” have labored diligently over the past few months to turn hundreds of ideas into these vetted projects. Working with my office, and City agencies, they researched needs and feasibility and cost, to create the ballot you see now. Endless thanks to them for countless hours of hard work, on all of our behalf. You can meet the delegates at the PBNYC Project Expo on March 29th.

For full descriptions, as well as the cost and location of each project, visit the ballot page here. You’ll also find the full list of voting times and locationsopportunities to volunteerpreviously funded projects, and a pledge where you can commit to vote in PBNYC. If you 

Having a hard time picking your favorites? Us too. (Unfortunately, 538 doesn’t offer recommendations for how to fill out this bracket). But be on the lookout: we’ll be sharing more in-depth highlights of all the projects, and more information about how to vote. Please note: requests to vote absentee must be submitted by 3/17.

Good luck with your brackets!


P.S. You can get a taste of last year’s winning projects, and keep track of the status of all past PBNYC projects, on my website at

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