Participatory budgeting kicks off, residents can pitch ideas on how to spend over $1 million in the neighborhood

Participatory Budgeting results unveiled at Woodside Library earlier this year

September 21, by Nathaly Pesantez

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer announced the start of the fourth round of participatory budgeting on Tuesday, a process where the community can bring forth ideas on how to spend over $1 million for neighborhood improvements within Council District 26, which primarily covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City.

A series of seven neighborhood assemblies will take place from Sept. 25 through Oct. 12, where attendees can learn about the budgeting process and propose capital project ideas to be added on the official ballot. Residents will then vote on the ballot next year.

“When neighbors from all walks of life come together to brainstorm ideas to improve their community, good things happen,” Councilman Van Bramer said.

More than 5,000 people voted in the last round of participatory budgeting for District 26, and voters decided to allocate approximately $1.8 million toward schools for items such as laptops, new bathrooms and fountains. Money was also allocated for new bus countdown clocks around the district.

The participatory budgeting process takes about nine months from start to finish, and begins with community residents pitching ideas through brainstorming sessions. Volunteer delegates then comb through the ideas and put together a proposal for projects, which anyone over the age of 14 in the community can vote on in the spring. The projects with the most votes for this round will be announced by the end of June 2018, before City Council passes the budget for the following year. The projects will be included in the budget for 2019, where they will receive funding allocated by Van Bramer.

Ideas eligible for submission must be for “capital” projects, meaning physical infrastructure improvements for public benefit, like updates on parks or new technology for schools. “Expense” projects like after-school programs or expanding bus service are not eligible for submission.

An online map where district residents can pin ideas for projects is also available. The deadline to submit ideas is Oct. 13, 2017.

Meetings will be held at the following dates and times:

·         Sunnyside Library on Monday, September 25 at 6:30PM

o   43-06 Greenpoint Avenue, Long Island City

·         Jacob A. Riis Settlement House on Wednesday, September 27 at 6:30PM

o   Queensbridge Houses, 10-25, 41st Avenue, Long Island City

·         Broadway Library on Monday, October 2 at 6:00PM

o   40-20 Broadway, Long Island City

·         Ravenswood Community Center on Tuesday, October 3 at 6:30PM

o   Ravenswood Houses, 35-40 21st Street, Long Island City

·         Woodside Community Center on Wednesday, October 4 at 6:30PM

o   Woodside Houses, 50-19 Broadway, Woodside

·         Woodside Library on Tuesday, October 10 at 6:30PM

o   54-22 Skillman Avenue, Woodside

·         MoMA PS1 on Thursday, October 12 at 6:30PM

o   22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City

Latest News

Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival returns to the neighborhood next week
September 14, by Nathaly Pesantez
The Sunnyside Shorts Film Festival has returned and its organizers will be screening films for all ages in an event next week. The one-day festival will feature 11 films for adults and nine films for children on Sept.…
Sunnyside gets new “All You Need is Love” mural, will be completed tonight
September 13, by Nathaly Pesantez
Sunnyside just got a pop of color with the addition of a new mural in the neighborhood. “All You Need Is Love” reads the large lettering splashed with bright tie-dye-like colors on the wall between EZ Pawn Corp.…
Crime continues to fall in the 108 Precinct
September 13, By Christian Murray
Crime has plummeted in the 108 Police Precinct this year, even more so than the significant decline citywide. There were no murders within the confines of the 108 Precinct--which covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City--for the year through September 3,…
Owners of SoleLuna open high-end pizzeria in Sunnyside
September 12, By Tara Law
A Neapolitan-style pizzeria has opened in Sunnyside that is owned and operated by the proprietors of SoleLuna. The pizzeria is called Sotto le Stelle, “under the stars” in Italian. It serves wood fired pizza and panini at 44-07 Queens Boulevard,…
Lily Gavin, influential Sunnyside leader, to have street co-named in her honor next month
September 11, by Nathaly Pesantez
Lily Gavin, the longtime Sunnyside community figure who passed away last year, will have a block-long section of Queens Boulevard co-named in her honor later this month. A street sign bearing “Lily Gavin Way” will be unveiled in a ceremony on 40th Street and Queens Boulevard,…
Woodside street co-named after FDNY firefighter, Vietnam veteran, who died of 9/11-related cancer
September 11, by Nathaly Pesantez
A street at the border of Woodside and Astoria has been co-named in honor of a longtime FDNY firefighter and Vietnam veteran who died earlier this year of a 9/11-related cancer. In an afternoon ceremony on Sept.…


More Headlines

Woodside man who illegally exported metal powder to Iran sentenced to 5 years prison
September 8, By Christian Murray
A Woodside man who exported specialty metals to Iran--in violation of a US trade ban—was sentenced to nearly 5 years in prison, the Justice Department announced yesterday. Erdal Kuyumcu, a 45-year-old US citizen and CEO of the Woodside-based Global Metallurgy,…
Sunnyside bar holding fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey victims Saturday
September 8, By Tara Law
A popular Sunnyside bar is hosting a benefit for those affected by Hurricane Harvey this Saturday. The Courtyard Ale House is holding the event at its 40-18 Queens Blvd bar this Saturday, September 9 from noon until late.…
Two-car garage in Sunnyside Gardens goes on the market for a cool $150,000
September 7, Staff Report
The cost of parking in New York City is not cheap—and the cost of buying garage space in Sunnyside Gardens is clearly an indicator of that. A two-car garage has just gone on the market for $150,000 at 43-31 Barnett Avenue,…
Children’s experiential school, dance studio, to open at former community hall and church on Queens Boulevard
September 6, by Nathaly Pesantez
The large space on Queens Boulevard that once housed a Korean church and acted as a community hall will now serve as a permanent home for a children’s school and a dance studio. The site at 41-20 Queens Boulevard will be the location of the Q Studio Lab,…
Arrested Sunnyside property manager bailed out, charged with attempted assault, harassment, and stalking
September 5, by Nathaly Pesantez
The Sunnyside property manager who was arrested two days ago faces charges of harassment, stalking, and attempted assault, according to Queens Criminal Court documents. Neal Milano, the 70-year-old property manager of the building at 47-55 39th Place,…
NYPD: Notorious Sunnyside property manager arrested, charged with stalking and harassment
September 3, by Nathaly Pesantez
The property manager of the Sunnyside condo building, which gained citywide attention for its lobby that included an image of Hitler, and who is under city and state investigations for alleged tenant harassment, has been arrested,…
Brown organics collection bins coming to Sunnyside, Woodside in October
September 1, by Nathaly Pesantez
The organics collection program by the Department of Sanitation (DSNY) is coming to Sunnyside and Woodside in October. Residents in the two neighborhoods will be able to dispose of organic waste, including food scraps,…
It’s not too late to enroll your child in Sunnyside Community Services’ Pre-K program
September 1, By Tara Law
There are still spaces available in Sunnyside Community Services’ Pre-K Program that are for children born in 2013. The program is free, since it is part of New York City’s Pre-K for All program.…
Trailers at two neighborhood schools in process of being removed, multi-million expansion projects completed
August 31, by Nathaly Pesantez
The beaten up trailers that used to litter the grounds at two local schools are finally being removed, replaced by state-of-the art buildings. PS11 in Woodside and IS 125 at the Sunnyside/Woodside border will open their doors next week with new buildings,…
NYPD: Police looking for scooter-riding man in his 60s who burglarized Woodside apartments
August 31, By Christian Murray
Police are looking for a man in his 60s who allegedly broke into two Woodside apartments, stole jewelry, electronics and cash, and then fled on a scooter. The suspect broke into two apartments in a building located in the vicinity of 41st Avenue and 66th Street around 2pm on Monday,…
NYPD looks to call Sunnyside property manager in for questioning upon return to country
August 30, by Nathaly Pesantez
The property manager of the Sunnyside building currently under investigation will be called in for questioning by the NYPD after he returns to the country, according to police. The police are seeking to speak with Neal Milano,…
Peralta urges Assembly to pass legislation that would give Community Boards more tools to deal with problem bars
August 30, By Tara Law
State Senator Jose Peralta (D-Elmhurst) is calling on the Assembly to pass a bill that would help the community keep tabs on troublesome bars and shut them down as need be. Peralta, who sponsored and passed such legislation in the state senate in June,…
Human Rights Commission opens investigation into tenant harassment, discrimination in Sunnyside condo building
August 29, by Nathaly Pesantez
The NYC Commission on Human Rights (CHHR) announced today that they have launched an investigation into tenant harassment and discrimination at the Sunnyside condo building known for its elaborate lobby decor that includes images of Hitler and the Confederacy and allegations of harassment against its property manager.…
Several Queens politicians take a stand against potential tolls on Queensboro, East River bridges
August 28, by Nathaly Pesantez
Several Queens politicians voiced their opposition yesterday to a proposal that would charge commuters a toll for using the Queensboro bridge—and three bridges in Brooklyn--citing the effect on middle class New Yorkers and small businesses in the outer boroughs.…

In the Spotlight