Brooklyn ‘Participatory Budgeting’ meetings start this week
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Do you live in Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill, Williamsburg, DUMBO, Greenpoint, North Park Slope or Vinegar Hill?
Councilmember Stephen Levin is inviting residents of his 33rd Council District to come share ideas for spending $1 million to improve the community. These funds can go towards capital projects in parks, schools, or wherever else residents decide.
The idea is called Participatory Budgeting, and residents of eight Council Districts have already decided how to spend $15 million in public money.
The budgeting process works through Neighborhood Assemblies -- brainstorming sessions that allow residents to bring up their ideas and concerns. The sessions last two hours.
Last year, the inaugural year for Participatory Budgeting, District 33 residents voted for five projects to receive more than a million dollars. These were: District-wide tree planting; M.S. 8 technology funds; an East River State Park dog run; technology at P.S. 31; and P.S. 34 playground renovations.
Residents of other districts voted to improve pedestrian safety on dangerous intersections, install security cameras, buy computers (or bathrooms) for schools, and install countdown clocks at intersections.
Here are the dates, times and locations for the District 33 Neighborhood Assemblies:
October 3 - Thursday 6-8 p.m. Borough Hall 209 Joralemon St.
October 10 - Thursday 6-8 p.m. Taylor-Wythe El Puente Community Center 80 Clymer St.
October 13 - Sunday 4-6 p.m. Myrtle Village Green Community Garden 913 Kent Ave. (enter on Myrtle Ave. between Kent and Franklin)
October 16 - Wednesday 6-8 p.m. Polish-Slavic Center 176 Java St.
October 22 - Tuesday 6-8 p.m. St. Francis College Callahan Center 180 Remsen St.
October 24 - Thursday 6-8 p.m. McCarren Play Center 776 Lorimer St.
October 26 - Saturday 4-6 p.m. Wyckoff Community Center 280 Wyckoff St.
President Obama recently lauded Brooklyn Councilmember Brad Lander as a “Champion of Change” for initiating Participatory Budgeting. Other Councilmembers will be participating in this process as well in 2013-2014. These include:
Sara M. Gonzalez, District 38 (Brooklyn); David G. Greenfield, District 44 (Brooklyn); Brad Lander, District 39 (Brooklyn); Melissa Mark-Viverito, District 8 (East Harlem, Mott Haven); Donovan Richards, District 31 (Rockaways); Eric Ulrich, District 32 (Rockaways); Mark Weprin, District 23 (Northeast Queens); Jumaane D. Williams, District 45 (Brooklyn)