2018-05-09 / Front Page

Vallones District: Boro’s Highest Turnout Breaks Record For Participatory Budgeting

Council Member Paul Vallone announced on May 1 the record-setting results of his fourth participatory budgeting cycle. From April 7 to April 15, residents of northeast Queens cast their votes to decide how to spend at least $1 million of Vallone’s discretionary funding on capital projects to improve their communities. Residents cast over 8,000 votes, an increase of nearly 2,000 from the 2017 cycle. This number was once again the most of any council district in Queens, and second-highest throughout the entire city. Throughout the last four years of participatory budgeting, Vallone has allocated nearly $6 million of his discretionary funding towards winning projects.

This year, another $1,041,000 will be allocated to fund the three projects which received the most votes. The winning projects were:

1. NYPD Security Cameras ($141,000; 2,086 votes): This project will fund and install four NYPD Security Cameras in District 19. These security cameras will enhance crime prevention.

2. Bayside High School Music Rehearsal & Equipment Storage ($600,000; 1,954 votes): This project will convert building storage areas into soundproofed performance rooms, including storage for musical instruments.

3. JHS 194 Gymnasium Renovation ($300,000; 1,906 votes): This project will renovate gym space by repairing walls, replacing basketball hoops, refinishing the floor and adding safety padding.

“These results once again clearly show that our district has overwhelmingly embraced the success of the participatory budgeting process. At a time when voter turnout is at a record low, we have created a way to engage our youth and youngest voters as to the power and importance of voting,” said Council Member Vallone. “The first-place finish for NYPD Security Cameras is a clear sign that public safety is a top priority for our neighborhoods. This monumental, eight-month task could not have been possible without the continuous dedication of our delegates, community liaisons, volunteers, staff and especially Vito Tautonico, our Director of Constituent Services, who spearheaded the process.”

 “Thank you to Councilman Paul Vallone and the community for selecting the NYPD Security Cameras in the participatory budget vote,” said Jerry Filippidis, President of the 109th Precinct Community Council. “[G]reat police work and crime prevention tools like the NYPD security cameras help the NYPD continue to lower crime rates and keep our city safe.”

“NYPD cameras are a great asset to fighting and deterring crime in our 111th Precinct Community,” said Jack Fried, President of the 111th Precinct Community Council.

“The Bayside High School community is delighted to have our music project selected as a result of the participatory budgeting process. We would like to thank Council Member Vallone for providing our students with this opportunity to have a voice in their own community,” said Jonathan Hirata, Assistant Principal of Bayside High School. “This contribution to the school will serve our students for many years to come.”

“JHS 194 would like to thank Councilman Vallone’s office for the opportunity to improve our school building and to participate in the District 19 City Council Participatory Budget Vote. The gymnasium renovation will be greatly appreciated by all the students, and community-based organizations that share our space,” said Ann Lippert, Parent Coordinator for JHS 194. “We are so grateful to the JHS 194 community, the PTA, our current and former students, their parents, and everyone who participated for their support of this project.”



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