2018-04-25 / Political Page

Constantinides Unveils Winning Participatory Budgeting Projects

New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides announced on April 24 which capital projects won a district-wide vote to receive discretionary funding as part of the Participatory Budgeting program. He was joined by community volunteers who assisted during the Participatory Budgeting process. This year almost 3,300 neighborhood residents cast their ballot, a majority of which were cast online at pbnyc.org.

Voting was held from April 7-15 both online and at in-person sites across the district, including libraries, community spaces, offices, schools, subway stations, and senior centers. Residents voted for projects they wanted to receive capital funding from a ballot created by community volunteers. The winning projects totaled $1 million in funding.

The winning projects were:

1.Road Repair and Resurfacing ($250,000) – 1,667 votes

Exact locations within District 22 will be determined by the NYC Department of Transportation based on roadway needs. The $250,000 would cover up to 1 mile of a one-way street.

2. STEM Lab at IS 141 ($300,000) – 1,658 votes

Includes tools for chemistry, biology and math, robotics equipment, circuitry, engineering, 3D printing, programming and design.

3.Redo Library Children’s Areas ($300,000) – 1,637 votes

Project will provide funding towards improving the children’s room in District 22 libraries.

4. Lighting at Astoria Houses Community Center ($150,000) – 1,395 votes

Adding lighting in the NYCHA Astoria Houses Community Center entrance and extra lights in entryways, hallways, and stairwells.

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

As the first of many steps until the completion of these projects, they will be funded by Constantinides as part of his FY ‘19 discretionary capital budget which will pass in June. After the budget is passed, city agencies will seek further community input, put together designs, and go through planning stages before construction begins.

Constantinides said, “I thank all our volunteers and committee members for their hard work to make this cycle of Participatory Budgeting a success once again this year. This volunteer-driven process wouldn't be possible without the help of everyone who assisted at a voting site or joined a budget delegate committee. I am proud that this program has continued to progress and become more inclusive of all our residents through online voting capabilities. It is evident that these digital opportunities encouraged more residents to cast their ballot on their computers or phones this year.”

Participatory Budgeting provides an opportunity for residents to be involved in the city budget cycle. Not only did residents vote for their favorite projects, but all the project proposals on the ballot were created by community volunteers. This fall, nearly 400 residents attended neighborhood assemblies and idea collection sessions, where over 600 ideas were brainstormed. Volunteers broke up into issues-based committees and transformed the list of ideas into a ballot of fully-formed project proposals with details and costs.

Constantinides added, “We are happy to provide this rewarding opportunity that brings the city budget process directly to our community members and helps keep our neighborhood civically engaged. We will continue to work with city agencies and community stakeholders as these capital projects are implemented.”

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