Sept. 18, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez
Participatory budgeting is kicking off again in District 26, where area residents can pitch ideas and vote on how to spend $1 million on capital projects, Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer announced yesterday.
The months-long event, now in its fifth year within the district that covers Long Island City, Sunnyside, and parts of Woodside and Astoria, will begin with a series of neighborhood assemblies where residents can learn about and give ideas on what project they’d like to see funded in the area.
“I am excited to kick off a new round of participatory budgeting with the announcement of six neighborhood assemblies I will be hosting throughout the 26th District,” said Council Member Van Bramer in a statement. “Last year, we saw a record number of people from our community get involved in the participatory budgeting process and make their voices heard.”
The assemblies, beginning this week and taking place until the second week of October, will help determine which projects will make it onto the ballot to be voted on.
The selected ideas fall under capital projects, or physical infrastructure improvements for public benefit such as park revamps, new school technology, and more.
Each assembly for this round of participatory budgeting will take on a specific theme. The themes include education, housing, parks, transportation, and libraries, with residents encouraged to go to each one and contribute ideas relating to the category.
Apart from sharing ideas at meetings, residents also have the option of pitching ideas through an online interactive map.
The ballot with the selected items is typically released in about five months time, or some time in March, with residents ages 11 and up eligible to vote for up to five projects they’d like to see developed.
Voting will wrap up some time in the spring, with winning projects announced by the end of June 2019 so they can be added to the City Council’s budget for the following year.
The last participatory budgeting round saw more than 7,000 voters vying for their top projects to be realized, with Van Bramer allocating more than $2.5 million for projects like tech upgrades at several schools, upgrading the children’s section of the Woodside library, and bus countdown clocks.
Neighborhood assemblies will be held at the following places and times:
· Kick-Off Assembly at Woodside Library
Thursday, September 20th at 6:30 p.m.
54-22 Skillman Avenue, Woodside
· Education Assembly at PS 361
Monday, September 24th at 6:30 p.m.
39-077th Street, Woodside
· Housing Assembly at Woodside Community Center
Wednesday, September 26th at 6:30 p.m.
Woodside Houses, 50-19 Broadway, Woodside
· Parks Assembly at Jacob A. Riis Settlement
Tuesday, October 2nd at 6:30PM
Queensbridge Houses, 10-25 41st Avenue, Long Island City
· Transportation Assembly at Ravenswood Community Center
Wednesday, October 3rd at 6:30PM
Ravenswood Houses, 35-40 21st Street, Long Island City/Astoria
· Library Assembly at Sunnyside Library
Thursday, October 11th at 6:30PM
43-06 Greenpoint Avenue, Sunnyside