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Participatory Budgeting Ballot Items Revealed, With Three In Sunnyside/Woodside


March 8, 2016 By Jackie Strawbridge

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has released the ballot items for his district’s Participatory Budgeting session, with three of 19 projects slated for Sunnyside/Woodside.

Participatory Budgeting is a process that allows constituents to vote on how capital dollars are spent in their district. This year, more than $1 million will be allocated to the most popular projects.

The biggest ticket project in the neighborhood is a $450,000 proposed auditorium repair for Aviation High School, located at 45-30 36th St, which is technically just over the Sunnyside border in Long Island City. This would involve purchasing new stage curtains and lighting.

PS 150, at 40-01 43rd Ave., is on the ballot for new laptops, as part of a $210,000 tech upgrade covering that school and Long Island City’s Academy of American Studies.

And in Woodside, a $300,000 grounds renovation for Woodside Houses is on the ballot, which would involve replacing asphalt, fencing and greening to beautify areas within the budget.

Most of the proposed projects would be in Long Island City/Dutch Kills, mostly involving education upgrades.

The most expensive single item on the ballot is a $500,000 shade canopy for the Hunters Point South Park playground.

This year’s ballot marks a shift in project distribution from last year, which featured Sunnyside and particularly Woodside more heavily and also had eight more total items.

When asked about each neighborhood’s representation on this year’s ballot, Van Bramer spokesperson Arielle Swernoff said that the office does not feel there is an imbalance. She cited the Woodside Houses upgrades as one of the “major projects.”

“What it comes down to is it’s a community driven process,” she said. “This [ballot] is what community members from across the district have come up with.”

The ballot proposals were narrowed down with the help of local budget delegates from ideas that were floated last fall in neighborhood assemblies, several of which took place in Sunnyside/Woodside.

“Budget delegates came from all over the district,” Swernoff said.

“Each and every one of the 19 projects would be fantastic additions to our community,” Van Bramer said in a statement released with the ballot guide.

“Community members narrowed down the list of hundreds of ideas to 19 real, implementable projects. These projects run the gamut from school improvements to pedestrian safety to improvements in NYCHA houses. This has truly been a community-driven process in every neighborhood of the 26th Council District. Now, it’s time for the residents of Sunnyside, Woodside, Astoria, and Long Island City to go vote.”

To learn more about the ballot proposals, residents can attend Van Bramer’s project expo on March 14 at Sunnyside Community Services (43-31 39th St.), 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Voting will take place from March 26 to April 3. Voting times and locations are posted below, along with the full voter’s guide of ballot proposals.

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A couple thoughts

How about bringing Citibike to Sunnyside and Woodside? This is another example where LIC gets all the resources. LIC is covered with Citibike stations and there are 0 stations in Sunnyside or Woodside!


Can anyone provide a itemized breakdown of the costs associated with some of these projects?
$300,000 for a single basketball court (will the court shoot the ball for you?)?
$100,000 for tree planting (how many trees? how old? what kind?)?
$300,000 for bus bulbs?
$132,000 security system upgrade (does this include a full time employee? i had 16 indoor/outdoor HD cameras with web based 24 hour access and recording installed for $4500…i can access the CCTV from my smartphone)?

i don’t understand these numbers. they don’t make ANY sense to me.

Trump for Pres

Why do anything to the homes? It’s the homeowners responsibility. Why would the city invest in someone’s home and making it better? If anything enforce a law that fines the owner for not cleaning up all the shit outside of it. Like the ones on 39 Ave between 51&52 streets.
Jimmy Van Bramer do you even have any schooling at all on the job you get paid to do? Seriously do you even have any clue on anything?
It’s obvious to a few people in the neighborhood that you don’t know much and the question is how did you get this far?
Better yet the real question is not what project we should vote on but when do we vote for a new councilman that can make realistic decisions for the community.
People have been asking for garbage cans on skillman and you can’t even get this done but your about to spend money on homeowners grass being greener??
Van Bramer you couldn’t even be a successful dog catcher none the less a councilman.


You do realize that the Woodside Houses are the projects just off Northern Blvd, right? They aren’t going to people houses and planting grass.


Trump for pres is obviously from outside the area but knows everything about the area. hahaha Typical low information blowhard..


-Trump for pres We had the garbage cans on 43rd Avenue from 46th street through 49th Streets removed, because of people illegally dumping “household” trash from homes and vehicles and over flowing the cans to the point of becoming a health hazard.We sent dozens of photos to Mr. Van Bramers office and the Dept. of Sanitation. We thought maybe the Sanitation schedule more pick ups but were told no by the Sanitation Dept. We thought maybe Sanitation Police could enforce the no household garbage laws. We were told only if sanitation police were on the scene. I can send you many months worth of photos. You should do a little more research into the issue before just shooting your mouth off. You may get what you want.


Meanwhile, a few months ago they spent money on brand new, much larger, garbage cans than 43rd had on Greenpoint. We need the ones on 43rd back because there’s basically nothing for blocks at times (unless you know which buildings have them tucked away).

Among other things, it’s not great for dog owners trying to be responsible about picking up. Felt almost like they were saying it’s cool to leave stuff wherever (as many people do).


The winners last year were in LIC. Why not spread the money around a little bit. Woodside is probably the area of the district that needs the most. Why is there only one project in Woodside. I don’t really even think of the Woodside homes as really being in the neighborhood.


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