C’mon & Vote 4 Your ‘Hood!

Participatory Budgeting Vote Continues thru April 2nd  

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Jennifer Gutierrez, Council Member Reynoso’s Chief of Staff and his Legislative Director Lacey Tauber count ballots at District 34’s PB Expo

It’s that time of year again when you can really see how your vote makes a difference. Community members came up with projects that directly impact their neighborhoods, and then each city council district votes on their district’s projects.  You get to select five projects that range from putting a/c in a school gym to pedestrian safety improvements. The three projects that get the most votes will be funded through the discretionary budget by the council member of the district.

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Council Member Stephen Levin votes online for Participatory Budgeting projects at the Greenpoint Library, 107 Norman Ave

“In our district’s fourth year of Participatory Budgeting it is exciting to see the continued dedication and hard work of all the community volunteers that work to make this grassroots process such a success. Just listening to the great ideas the community proposes and seeing the great projects on the ballot every year reaffirms that the best projects really do come from the bottom up. That’s why I have increased our commitment to $1.5 million. I am looking forward to vote week and seeing this year’s winning projects,” said Council Member Stephen Levin

So, in District 33, if you are tired of tripping on the cracked sidewalks along Msgr. McGolrick Park, you could choose that project to receive funds. Or maybe you’d rather vote for funding the installation of an air conditioner at Juan Morel Campos School then you’d pick that one. Or you could pick both, because you get five picks!!!

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center to right: Volunteers  Lauren Dobkin and Susan Anderson helping people vote for Participatory Budgeting in District 33

Council Member Antonio Reynoso said, “I am really excited for Year 2 of participatory budgeting in the 34th District.  This process involves real input and work by members of this community, and I think there are some great projects on the ballot.  I am looking forward to getting out the vote and making sure that as many residents as possible have the chance to have their voice heard in how this $1 million is spent.”

 

If you are in District 34 and like giving out air conditioners there’s a project that would give PS 257 and air conditioner in their school gym to vote for. Or perhaps you’d rather fund more intellectual school pursuits if so  pick the project that gives two new laptop carts, two smart tables, a 3-D printers, six smart boards, and forty-two desktops to P.S. 239 and P.S. 18.

But there are many more options for each district.  The vote started on April 26th and on that day District 34 held a PB Expo. Each project had a creative handmade presentation and a spokesperson to answer any questions. Snacks and soda were served. Jennifer Gutierrez, Council Member Reynoso’s Chief of Staff and his Legislative Director Lacey Tauber counted the ballots at 89 when there was still an hour to go.

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CM Stephen Levin after voting!

District 33 started their vote on March 26th as well, but the Greenpoint Library started its run as a polling place on the 29th. Lauren Dobkin was one of the volunteers helping people vote on that day. It was her first year as a voter volunteer and is a voter delegate who helped put together the parks projects on the ballot. Susan Anderson, chairperson of Town Square, also was a first-time volunteer but she’s been supporting Participatory Budgeting since its first year when she pushed a playground project for PS 34 to victory. Edith Schkrutz came in just to vote. She is 94 years old and has lived in Greenpoint for 65 years. She is partial to PS 34’s project this year because she was a school aide at this school from 1960 to 1994. Council Member Levin came into vote that day too. He decided to try out the voting online option with success.

Last year New Yorkers cast 51,362 ballots, and participatory budgeting has gotten more popular in each successive year. So don’t just sit there find a polling place near you and cast a vote that you can see change things in your neighborhood. The last day to vote is April 2nd

To recieve text alerts about when and where you can vote, text PBNYC to 212-676-8384 or for District 33 got to http://labs.council.nyc/districts/33/and  for District 34 go to http://labs.council.nyc/districts/34/

 

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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