Results are in…PBNYC Project Winners!

Results are in…PBNYC Project Winners!

During Participatory Budgeting (“PBNYC”) voting week close to 2,700 people showed up to take part in expanding democracy and supporting our neighborhood.

Residents from across our district turned out by the hundreds to vote at schools and community spaces and at pop-up locations in parks and plazas. We held polling places at senior centers, the mosques in Kensington, the Little League Parade, and Mayor de Blasio even dropped by PS 282 in Park Slope to cast his vote. Best of all, we opened up the process to 14 year olds this year too!

Without further delay, the 2015 winning Participatory Budgeting projects are …

1. A/C for PS124 Cafeteria ($200,000) -- 1442 votes 

Imagine eating lunch every single day in a cafeteria that’s plagued by heat from an open kitchen. That’s what the students of PS 124 have to do. The below-ground space is unbearably hot even in the spring and fall, so you can imagine what it is like when the school hosts summer programs. Now the students at this school have a comfortable place to eat and learn. Location: 515 4th Ave in Park SlopeLearn more here.

2. 146/MS 448 Innovative Gym Renovation ($225,000) -- 1200 votes

Overcrowding is an issue at PS146/MS 448, a school with 1,400 students, half of whom qualify for free lunch and a third of whom have disabilities. The renovation of a former locker room that is currently unusable will create a new, innovative space for a variety of physical fitness activities, including yoga and dance. Location: 610 Henry St. in Carroll Gardens. Learn more here.

3. PS 179 Auditorium Renovation ($230,000)  -- 1196 votes

The 1,000 students at PS 179 (of whom 45% are English Language Learners) want to make their decrepit auditorium functional again. This project will put in a wireless sound system, brand new curtains, and a refurbished stage – making the space much more useable for assemblies, student productions, and other school events. Location: 202 Avenue C in Kensington. Learn more here.

4. Make Union Street and 9th Street Greener ($150,000) -- 1100 votes

Green spaces not only make for a nicer looking neighborhood, they make for a more environmentally friendly one. This project will “green” Union Street between Bond Street and 4th Avenue in the area around the Gowanus Canal.  New features like bioswales and expanded tree pits on the street will do a lot to prevent problematic storm water runoff from running into the Canal and flooding the area.  Location: Union Street and 9th Street, from Bond-4th Ave in Gowanus. Learn more here.

5. Four Safer Intersections on Hicks Street ($300,000) -- 1077 votes

An existing street safety project on Hicks Street has calmed traffic by painting curb extensions at four high crash intersections: Kane, Sackett, Union, and Summit Streets. This project will turn the paint into permanent concrete extensions that will improve pedestrian and traffic safety in Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens. Location: Hicks St between Kane & Summit Sts (Cobble Hill & Carroll Gardens). Learn more here.

6. Technology for Local Arts Non-Profits ($90,000) -- 1027 votes

Three of our community’s most established nonprofit organizations are in need of more resources to help benefit the arts education of underserved youth. Groundswell, Reelworks, and Rooftop Films will be able to buy some new computers, projectors, and storage servers to help them in their mission. Your votes this year will help them serve even more students who are passionate about the arts. Location: Gowanus. Learn more here.

7. New Drainage along Path in Prospect Park ($200,000) -- 997 votes

Prospect Park is one of our area’s most known and most loved public spaces, which is all the more reason to make sure we keep it in good repair and well maintained. This project will address flooding along a popular path in a hilly area near the zoo.  The concrete on the path is broken up because the area doesn’t drain well after rainstorms. The money will help install drains at the bottom of the path and make sure water doesn’t accumulate, keeping the path in good repair year after year. Location: Between Battle Pass & the Zoo in Prospect Park. Learn more here.

This year, I increased my funding commitment to PBNYC from $1 million to $1.5 million. The 7 projects above cost $1,395,000 … so we’ll need to be creative to fund the 8th project below, which would take us up to $1,645,000. But I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to find the funds to do so:

8. Park Slope Library Storytelling Garden ($250,000) -- 936 votes

With summer finally starting to peak through our never-ending winter, what could be more enjoyable than some time in the sun listening to stories or snacking on home grown veggies? This project will help convert the Park Slope Library’s south lawn into a storytelling garden with raised beds and benches. In the sheltered hollow behind the building, the funds will construct a child-friendly micro-amphitheater for outdoor storytelling. Location: 431 6th Ave in Park Slope. Learn more here.

View full results from District 39's 2015 Particpatory Budgeting election here.

This vote is just the first step towards completing these projects. My office will be working with City agencies to ensure that community stakeholders stay involved as the projects are implemented. Don’t expect to see completed projects right away. Some projects from past years are already complete, but others still require at least a couple years of planning, community input, and construction. You should expect the same from this year’s winning projects. You can track their progress – and see where previous winners stand – at BradLander.com/PBupdate.

Participatory Budgeting is a big undertaking, and I want to thank all of the people involved in making it such a big success. Our District Committee, made up of two dozen volunteers from around the district, helped organize the whole process, from the first meetings to staffing the voting weekend. About 100 community members put in thousands of hours as Budget Delegates and Facilitators, taking all of the great ideas given at the beginning of the process and developing them into the proposals put on the final ballot.

We’ve had great community partners and Participatory Budgeting would not be successful without the support of community organizations across New York, including the New York City CouncilCommunity Voices Heard, the Participatory Budgeting Project, and of course, my staff has done an amazing job of balancing this big, important project along with all of our other community and City Hall initiatives. Thanks to all of them, and to all of you who helped spread the word about Participatory Budgeting, gave an idea, and of course all of you who voted!

Our work on PBNYC is part of a growing movement, across New York City and beyond! This cycle residents from almost half the city (24 council districts) participated. That’s a big increase from four years ago when we first started with just 4 council districts, and a few thousand voters – and it’s still growing, across New York and around the world.

This year, we also received great support from the City Council’s central staff, who ran the ballot-counting operations, and helped coordinate PBNYC across the city. Under the leadership of our Speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito (one of our founding partners in PBNYC), we are continuing to build on the success of PBNYC to bring better, more transparent, more inclusive governing, all across New York City.

Thank you for being part of it.

Brad

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