HOW WOULD YOU SPEND $1 MILLION?
Participatory budgeting: Real money. Real power. Real projects!
To more closely involve the community in how city capital funds are spent on the North Shore, I have brought participatory budgeting to Staten Island! This is a democratic process in which local residents directly decide how to spend $1 million of discretionary capital funds.
2019-2020 PARTICIPATORY BUDGETING IS UNDER WAY
Councilwoman Debi Rose is in the midst of her fourth year of participatory budgeting, with scores of ideas collected for capital improvements to the North Shore.
Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. Council members who choose to join Participatory Budgeting give at least $1 million of City Council discretionary capital funds for the community to participate in decision-making. Through a public vote, residents decide which proposals to fund.
Eligible projects must be physical improvements or equipment on city property that will benefit the public for at least five years and cost at least $50,000. Through a public vote next spring, all eligible residents of the 49th District 11 years of age and older will decide which proposals to fund.
“Participatory works best when a broad cross section of residents actively engage in the process. My office provides materials and guidance, while residents come up with the ideas, work with city agencies to refine the ideas into formal proposals and then put those proposals to a vote next March.”
Results from 2018-2019
• Mobile STEM labs for PS 78, PS 20, Port Richmond HS, PS 18, PS16, PS 22, as well as a Disaster Preparedness Package for PS 22—$435,000.
• Real-time passenger bus arrival signs at approximately 6 to 7 locations on the North Shore—$200,000.
• Basketball court at Faber Park as part of the upcoming renovation of Faber Park—$300,000 toward a $1.24 million project.
Any North Shore resident who is interested in serving as a delegate is encouraged to fill out this form to receive more information. Delegates volunteer a few hours each week until the spring to work on committees and review ideas submitted by neighbors and then work with city agencies to turn these ideas into ballot proposals.
Results from 2017-2018
The people have spoken! The nearly 2,000 North Shore residents who cast ballots to decide how $1 million of city capital funds will be spent on the North Shore have chosen the following THREE projects:
Advanced School Learning Upgrades—installation and replacing MacBooks, laptop carts and printers at PS 16, PS 19, PS 44, PS 57, PS 74, IS 49 and Curtis High School.
North Shore District Libraries Technology Upgrade—laptops, kiosk, printers, new phone system, network equipment and WiFi upgrades at ALL North Shore Libraries: Port Richmond, St. George, West New Brighton, Stapleton and Mariners Harbor.
Renovation to the Mariners Harbor basketball court including repaving the court, new basketball post, hoops, backboards and bleachers
The real winner here is the North shore. Our schools will better serve our students, our libraries will better serve all patrons, and we will have new recreational facilities in Mariners Harbor. We’ve all learned how to be civically engaged, and next year my expectation is that more people will vote, we’ll have more projects to vote on, and the North shore will be winners once again, with new improvements that local residents want.
Do you have an idea for next year's Participatory Budgeting ballot? Do you want to be part of the process? Email my coordinator, Isa Cortez Rogers, at email@example.com.
Participatory Budgeting is democracy in action. It works best when we all participate.
For more on how Participatory Budgeting works citywide, check out the City Council's Participatory Budgeting site.