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Real grassroots democracy: Participatory Budgeting comes to Staten Island

August 8, 2016

 

To more closely involve the community in how city capital funds are spent on the North Shore, I am bringing 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. 

 

Neighborhood assemblies: To bring North Shore residents together to brainstorm capital projects that will benefit neighborhoods, I will convene the first of several participatory budgeting neighborhood assemblies this Friday, Sept. 9, 5:30 pm, at Trinity Lutheran Church, 309 St. Paul’s Ave.

 

Idea collection: September marks the idea-collection stage, which means that through Sept. 15, anyone 14 and older who lives, works or goes to school in the 49th Council District can propose projects such as improvements to schools, parks, libraries, public housing, and other public or community spaces.

 

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 $35,000.

 

Examples include

  • renovations to a community center

  • new computers for a library

  • technology or playground equipment for a public school

  • exercise equipment or new benches at a park

  • security cameras around parks or public housing

If you'd like to submit an idea for a capital project on the North Shore, you can do so here on this map

 

Delegates: I am also recruiting delegates to attend public meetings throughout the fall and winter and develop these ideas into formal proposals that can be put on the March ballot. Delegates will have the following roles and responsibilities:

  • attend five to ten meetings from October to March, including a delegate orientation, agency meetings and project expos

  • choose and work on a committee that will address the district’s needs (education, transportation, housing, environment, public safety, parks and recreation, art and culture, youth, etc.)

  • review community needs and ideas from across the district and develop project proposals with help from city experts.

  • visit locations across the district and research project ideas

  • participate in outreach efforts to engage the community in participatory budgeting

Delegates must be at least 14 years old and either live in the district, go to school in the district, own a business in the district or have a child that attends school in the district. They should be prepared to dedicate two to four hours a week to participatory budgeting from September through April.

 

If you're interested in becoming a delegate, click here to download the application form and email it to Isa Rogers, irogers@council.nyc.gov.

 

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

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