Voting for Dollars!

Participatory Budgeting returns to District 34

NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutierrez assisting with 2016’s Participatory Budgeting vote at El Puente, as then NYC Council Member Antonio Reynoso’s chief of staff, with Lacy Tauber, who is now the Legislative Director for Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso

The 34th New York City Council District (D34) is set to be the only district in North Brooklyn, and one of few throughout the city, participating in a democratic process called Participatory Budgeting this year. Participatory Budgeting (PB) is when members of the community get to decide how to spend part of our public budget by voting on proposals. (Yes, that means you!)

If you are a resident of District 34 and 11-years old and above you can cast your vote HERE.

According to The Participatory Budgeting Project: “PB started in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1989, as an anti-poverty measure that helped reduce child mortality by nearly 20 percent. Since then, PB has spread to over 7,000 cities around the world, and has been used to decide budgets from states, counties, cities, housing authorities, schools, and other institutions.”

The process will allow for residents of the neighborhood to have a say in where funding goes for community programs and improvements to local schools, housing, and other public places.

The North Brooklyn projects on the ballot for April 2022 are:

  • Lyons Community School Technology Upgrade
  • North Brooklyn Pedestrian Safety and Public Space Improvements
  • Adult Exercise Equipment at Cooper Park
  • Maria Hernandez Dog Run Update

PB isn’t widespread yet for a few reasons: the COVID-19 pandemic, newly elected City Council members still settling into office, etc. However, fortunately for D34, NYC Council Member Jennifer Gutierrez is well-versed in PB from her time as chief of staff to former Council Member and current Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.

NYC Council Member Gutierrez cited her main goals for this year as: “Creating and preserving more deeply affordable housing, supporting small businesses in their lease negotiations, ensuring safer streets for cyclists and pedestrians, and expanding and funding the community school model for district schools to provide access to services for residents.”

Voting takes place on April 2 and will run until April 10. Proposals listed on the ballot and more voting information will be available on the PBNYC page for District 34 at participate.nyc.gov. You can cast your votes virtually on Google Forms using D34’s official ballot in English or Spanish.

Author: Kassondra Gonzalez

Communications Associate and Contributor of the Greenline.

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