2015-08-19 / Front Page

Constantinides Allocates $1.5M For Next PB Cycle

Councilman Costa Constantinides has set aside $1.5 million in discretionary funds for the next cycle of participatory budgeting, increasing the allocation by 50 percent compared to the previous cycle. District residents will soon be able to decide how to spend that funding on capital projects within the district.

Starting this month, community members can attend neighborhood assemblies to learn more and brainstorm capital project ideas.

Assembly Dates:

•September 16, Bohemian Hall, 29- 19 24th Ave., Astoria

•September 17, Boulevard Gardens Assembly Hall, 51-42 30th Ave., Woodside

•September 21, Bulova Corporate Center, 75-20 Astoria Blvd, East Elmhurst

•September 30, Astoria Houses Community Center, 4-25 Astoria Blvd, Astoria

This cycle, Constantinides specifically designated $500,000 out of the $1.5 million for projects within Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst.

Constantinides said, “I am excited to bring participatory budgeting back to our district this year. Last cycle was a success with over 2,200 votes cast and with three winning projects that totaled over $1.2 million in funding. The volunteer-driven program provides an extraordinary opportunity for all our residents to have a voice in our city’s budget process. The process is inclusive and brings our community together. We are especially proud to allocate even more funding for this cycle to make it more inclusive and engage with our Jackson Heights residents. I look forward to working with our neighborhood as we move forward with participatory budgeting activities.”

The participatory budgeting process involves a series of meetings that feed into the city’s annual budget cycle. During the previous participatory budgeting cycle, hundreds of community members attended four assemblies held in the fall throughout Astoria and Jackson Heights, and brainstormed project ideas. Close to 100 residents volunteered to be budget delegates. These delegates broke into groups that worked on specific issues and transformed the initial list of 250 capital project ideas into a ballot of 18 fullyformed proposals. In mid-April, over 2,200 residents cast ballots on their favorite projects. Voting took place at sites across the district, including community rooms, shopping centers, offices, schools, libraries, subway stations, and parks. The winning projects were announced in May.

For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.

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