Participatory Budgeting comes to Greenpoint & Williamsburg!


What would you do with $1 Million?

There’s $1 million available in our community for improvements like parks, school repairs, transportation, and more.

Best of all — we decide how it will be used! Community members from the 33rd District can propose projects and vote on which ones
get included in the City budget. It’s a new way to make decisions about publicly funded projects, and it’s called “Participatory Budgeting”.

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. PB gives ordinary people real decision-making power over real money. The process was first developed in Brazil in 1989, and there are now over 1,000 participatory budgets around the world, most at the municipal level.

               In 2011, four New York City Council Members – Brad Lander, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Eric Ulrich, and Jumaane D. Williams – launched a PB process to let residents allocate part of their capital discretionary funds. In 2012, Council Members David Greenfield, Dan Halloran, Mark Weprin, and our very own Council Member,  Stephen Levin,  are all  joining PBNYC, giving the community real decision-making power over at least $10 million in taxpayer money.

Discretionary funds are resources that the Council Members can allocate as they desire. Capital funds can only be used for physical infrastructure projects that benefit the public, cost at least $35,000 and have a lifespan of at least 5 years. Through PB, residents in each participating district will decide how to spend at least $1 million capital dollars.

In PBNYC’s pilot year more than 6,000 New York City residents proposed and voted on local infrastructure projects, such as improvements to schools, parks, libraries, and housing. The Council Members submitted the projects receiving the most votes – totaling more than $5 million citywide – to the City for implementation.

Come out to a neighborhood assembly in September or October to learn more and submit project ideas. See http://pbnyc.org/ for the schedule of assemblies.

The first Neighborhood Assembly in our part of the district is this upcoming Wednesday Sept 19th. 6 – 9 pm. Taylor-Wythe El Puente Leadership Center. 80 Clymer Street.   (También en Español! Food provided )

“Levin to Open Budget Process” Greenpoint Gazette. July 2012

“Revolutionary Participatory Budget Process Doubles in Size in 2nd Year”. Community Voices Heard. Jul 2012

“Putting in Their 2 Cents”  NYT. March 2012

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