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Participatory Budgeting Ballot Items Revealed, 5 Options in Woodside/Sunnyside

Woodside Houses, where several projects are listed in this round of participatory budgeting (via Google Maps)

March 21, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has released the ballot items for the fourth round of participatory budgeting in his district, with one-third of the items based in Sunnyside and Woodside.

In participatory budgeting, residents can vote on how to spend capital funds on projects such as schools improvements, parks, libraries, and more in Council District 26, which primarily covers Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City. This round of participatory budgeting will see at least $1 million dedicated to neighborhood improvements.

Four items out of the 15 on the ballot are in Woodside proper, with the biggest listed ticket option a $600,000 project to renovate the girls and boys bathroom at an after school program in the Woodside Houses. The conditions in the bathroom, according to the ballot, are “very unsanitary”.

Two other projects are also proposed for the Woodside Houses, including installing additional security cameras for $500,000 and renovating the garden beds for $175,000. The garden beds project will help grow a wider variety of vegetables, and will also include provisions to build a fence around the gardens. A second green house will also be built as part of this project.

Another possible project in Woodside includes renovating the children’s room and auditorium at the Woodside Library, which comes out to $500,000. The upgrades will focus on technology to “meet the needs of our growing community,” the ballot reads.

One project from Sunnyside made it to this round of participatory budgeting, with a proposed project to upgrades P.S.150’s auditorium with a new AV system, lighting, and curtains.

The remaining 10 projects are mostly in Long Island City, and include school renovations and upgrades, tech upgrades to the Borden Ave. veterans shelter, and building an outdoor gym at Queensbridge Park.

Three district-wide projects are also on the ballot, which call for technology upgrades at multiple elementary and middle schools, planting new trees (primarily in Astoria and Long Island City), and installing bus time countdown clocks.

District 26 residents ages 14 and up can cast up to five votes on projects they want to see funded.

The ballot items were selected after several community meetings from September to October last year, in which attendees pitched capital project ideas to be added for this round.

Results unveiled at Woodside Library earlier this year

Community members have been working hard for months to narrow down hundreds of projects to the final 15,” said Van Bramer in a statement. “All of these projects—from school playground renovations to technology upgrades at the Veterans Shelter, to bus countdown clocks—are great and would improve the quality of life for people in our community! In addition to the in-person voting locations, online voting is available again this year. I hope to see a record number of voters, making this a true community-driven and democratic process!”

Voting will begin online and in person on April 7, and run until April 15, with the winning projects to be announced by the end of June 2018, before the City Council passes the budget for the following year. The winning projects will then be included in the budget for 2019.

Online voting is done through the city council’s participatory budgeting webpage, which is not yet active. For a full list of in-person voting locations, click here.

Over 5,000 people voted in the last round of participatory budgeting for the district, and voters decided to allocate approximately $1.8 million toward schools improvements and new bus countdown clocks.

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21 Comments

JM

I understand the need for these projects in the housing developments, but the bathrooms, security cameras, and garden beds should all fall under NYCHA budget use nycha money to fix nycha issues not monies devoted for public works

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Jason

PB has been around for a few years now. We need an update for all the projects that were awarded since to gauge its effectiveness. You would think JVB would be tooting his horn about them, no?

Half a million dollars for a security system sounds like a joke even with the amount of buildings involved, by the way.

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Withheld.

Why not use that money to hire homeless occupying the local hotels, give them a broom and dust pan so they can sweep up the neighborhood that way they can pay back some of the money used to house them, there is garbage/graffiti all over the place, especially on those new sidewalk rain water catches placed throughout the neighborhood, they have become a trash cans/dumping sites – just full of garbage – take a walk around and just see for yourselves.

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Withheld

Why lousy, better than spending it for libraries when most kids don’t even read books anymore, just connected to the electronic devices. Everyday I walk along Qns Blvd see lots of garbage all over the place, especially next the the YMCA and the walkway over the bridge leading to Qns Plaza. Think it would be a great Idea to have out of work homeless or out of work parolees at the local shelter sweep and pick up garbage. They could also paint murals on the green beams, graffited walls to help beautify the area .

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Carbie Barbie

Go into any local library branch sometime. They’re full of kids and people from the community. It’s literally hard to find a spot to sit.

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Withheld

What are you doing in a public library where unattended children are around Carbie Barbie??? Get a freaking job.

Carbie Barbie

Better still, let’s restart poor houses and debtors’ prisons. Nevermind that homelessness is primarily caused by lack of affordable housing.

“Research shows that the primary cause of homelessness, particularly among families, is lack of affordable housing. Surveys of homeless families have identified the following major immediate, triggering causes of homelessness: eviction; doubled-up or severely overcrowded housing; domestic violence; job loss; and hazardous housing conditions.”

http://www.coalitionforthehomeless.org/basic-facts-about-homelessness-new-york-city/

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Carbie Barbie

What an outrage. We should be grinding our boot heels on people’s necks, not helping them out.

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Jimmy Van Pooch

Unless you are a student in a public school, the parent/guardian of a student, or a resident of public housing, participatory budgeting has no relevance to your life.

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Oil beef hooked

Right? What about those of us who hate education and people who are poor? When will we get our share?

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Carbie Barbie

YES! Stick it to the poor, parents and students so I CAN GET MORE, just like Oil Beef Hooked says.

Also, I feel like you missed a trick by calling yourself Jimmy van Pooch. Poochy van Bramer scans a lot better.

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IanMCC

Maybe this is hopelessly naive, but shouldn’t something so fundamental as keeping the bathrooms in a decent state of repair at the Woodside Houses just be part of the NYCHA’s basic responsibility? Seems crazy that that type of thing has to compete for capital funds with all of these more “nice-to-have” (though still
worthy) improvements.

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Carbie Barbie

If by “base” you mean “voters,” then I guess you’re right.

But aren’t these budget items submitted by people and organizations in the neighborhood, not elected officials.

Hey, why not submit your own idea? It’s open to all. I’m sure you could get a few votes for installing mandatory 24 hour Fox News screens on all available public spaces.

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Sean

Anonymous, That’s not true. Even if it were, the idea that a class of people should be ignored is shameful.

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Tommy O

Anonymous- Like the new benches on QB, new street lights at PS 11 and the new school at 43rd street and 47th ave, the funds for renovating Dough Boy Park, all the newly planted trees…all for the projects…

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