Participatory budgeting neighborhood assemblies kick off this month

To bring North Shore residents together to brainstorm capital projects that will benefit neighborhoods, Councilwoman Debi Rose 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.

A second assembly has also been scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 20, 5:30 p.m., at Canterbury House, 1331 Bay St.

Participatory budgeting, an initiative adopted this year by 31 New York City Council members, gives constituents a direct say in how $1 million of my City Council discretionary capital funds are spent.

“Participatory only works if residents of the North Shore are actively engaged in the process,” said Councilwoman Rose. “I will provide materials and guidance, but local residents will 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.”

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

In addition to collecting ideas, the councilwoman is 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.

“This process not only gives constituents an opportunity to engage in civic life, it gives them real power to fund real projects,” said Councilwoman Rose. “And by including young people in the process, participatory budgeting might just encourage a teenager or young adult to enter public service.”

For more information on the process, visit or email Councilwoman Rose’s Participatory Budgeting Coordinator Isa Rogers at


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