Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Participatory Budgeting Neighborhood Assembly Comes To Roosevelt Island And Upper East Side Says NYC Council Member Ben Kallos - Help Decide How Your Tax Funds Get Spent

Image From PBNYC

According to Participatory Budgeting In New York City (PBNYC):
Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the New York City Council announced the expansion of participatory budgeting to 23 districts that will designate over $25 million toward locally-developed projects, proposals, and initiatives in the next budgetary cycle.

The expansion more than doubles the number of participating districts and represents a nearly 80% increase in funding allocated for participatory budgeting from the previous fiscal year.

"Participatory budgeting is a gateway to greater civic participation and leadership in our communities, encouraging collaboration between residents and local elected officials to find creative solutions to neighborhood needs,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. “As we work toward a more inclusive, transparent city government, I am excited for 22 Council districts to take part in the participatory budgeting—more than doubling our participation from the previous cycle. This expanded process will give thousands of New Yorkers a hands-on role in making taxpayer dollars work for our communities.”

Participatory budgeting is a grassroots process through which district residents vote directly to allocate at least $1 million in capital funding toward proposals developed by the community to meet local needs. Through a series public meetings, residents work with elected officials for a year to identify neighborhood concerns and craft proposals to address them. Residents then decide which proposals to fund through a public vote.

Good government groups hail participatory budgeting as a powerful tool to increase civic participation and community engagement. The only identification requirement is proof of residency in the district; voting in participatory budgeting is open to all residents 16 years of age and older, removing traditional obstacles to full civic participation such as youth, income status, English-language proficiency and citizenship status.
NYC Council District 5 (Roosevelt Island and the Upper East Side) represented by Ben Kallos is one of the districts included in the Participatory Budgeting process.

NYC Council Member Ben Kallos reports:
How would you spend one million dollars?

I am excited to announce another round of participatory budgeting, which empowers you to decide how one million of your tax dollars will get spent.

Whether you’re passionate about green space, improving housing conditions or senior services, participatory budgeting allows you to come up with creative ideas and champion them for the good of the community.

This time, you will have the opportunity to brainstorm ideas that will be on the ballot--and could become reality.

I hope you can join us at an upcoming Neighborhood Assembly to become part of the process. The next one is this Sunday afternoon, September 21, at Stanley Isaacs Senior Center. If you can make it, please RSVP today.

If you can't make it this Sunday, I hope you can join us at an upcoming Assembly:

Sunday, 9/21: 1-4PM, Stanley Isaacs Senior Center, 415 East 93rd St. RSVP

Monday, 9/29: 6-9PM, Lenox Hill House, 331 East 70th St. RSVP

Tuesday, 10/07: 6-9PM, Roosevelt Island Senior Center, 546 Main Street. RSVP

Saturday, 10/18: 1-4PM, Knickberbocker Plaza, 1763 2nd Ave. RSVP

Thursday, 10/30: 5-8PM, Lexington Houses,1536 Lexington Ave. RSVP

You can visit to keep up to date on the process.

I hope you'll join us to contribute your ideas and energy to shaping the future of our neighborhoods.


Ben Kallos
More information on Participatory Budgeting at PBNYC and video below.

Participatory budgeting in not new to Roosevelt Island. We have been using it for years to allocate $100 Thousand Public Purpose Funds annually.