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. 


After a months-long process, North Shore residents developed and selected two projects that will now be funded in the coming year’s budget:

  • Students at six North Shore schools will have new laptops and smart boards! The Advanced School Learning Upgrades project will fund 240 laptops, 12 carts and printers, and 1 digital blackboard at PS 16, PS 18, PS 19, PS 31, PS 44 and PS 78. The project will cost $415,000.

  • Those who visit Clove Lakes Park will have new exercise equipment to stay strong and healthy! The Clove Lakes Park Adult Exercise Equipment project will fund the installation of 5 to 6 pieces of adult exercise equipment including concrete pads, safety surfacing and signage at the East End of Clove Lakes Park. The project will cost $500,000. 

This process engaged people across the spectrum! We had a lot of young people participating. It renewed their confidence in government. To see a project come to fruition is something they won't forget. It's a lifelong learning lesson that they will keep with them.

You really can affect change. Sometimes you might read the newspaper and think that isn't possible, but this process showed that it is possible!

The next Participatory Budgeting cycle is just around the corner, and we're already collecting ideas for next year's ballot! Join us to be a part of the process! Send an email to my Participatory Budgeting coordinator Isa Rogers!


The following are the 8 final projects appeared on the March 2017 ballot:



Project Name: Advanced School Learning Upgrades (ASLU)       

Cost: $415,000          

Description: Will fund 240 laptops/12 carts & printers/1 digital blackboard for 6 schools to provide community tech literacy.

Location: PS 16, PS 18, PS 19, PS 31, PS 44, & PS 78



Project Name: New Lighting at the Richmond Terrace Houses      

Cost: $500,000          

Description: New lighting for the basketball court and walkways to increase safety.

Location: 71 Jersey Street


Project Name: Park Renovation at the Richmond Terrace Houses  

Cost: $500,000          

Description: Park renovation including new surfacing, play equipment, picnic tables and trees for shade.

Location: Behind 61 Jersey Street


Project Name: Richmond Terrace Houses Basketball Courts          

Cost: $500,000          

Description: Repaving, adding new basketball post and hoops, backboards, bleachers and a metal roof of two basketball courts.

Location: Behind 71 Jersey Street


Project Name: Renovate Mariners Harbor Basketball Court           

Cost: $500,000          

Description: Renovation to the basketball court including repaving the court, new basketball post, hoops, backboards and bleachers.     

Location: Grandview Avenue


Parks & Recreation 

Project Name: Clove Lakes Park Adult Exercise Equipment          

Cost: $500,000          

Description: The installation of 5-6 pieces of adult exercise equipment including concrete pads, safety surfacing and signage.

Location: Clove Lakes Park East End


Project Name: Replacement of Trees Along Narrows Road North 

Cost: $108,000          

Description: Planting new trees due to the loss of Mt. Manresa & S.I.E development. This will improve the health of local residents.       

Location: Along Narrows Rd. N. near Fingerboard Rd.



Project Name: Real Time Passenger Information Project    

Cost: $280,000          

Description: Funding 10 countdown clocks at locations greater than a 15 minutes radius from the St George Ferry.           

Location: Selected with community input.

For more on how Participatory Budgeting works citywide, check out the City Council's Participatory Budgeting site