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Participatory Budgeting Kicks off Monday, as Residents Decide What Projects to Fund

Photo: Jimmy Van Bramer (Facebook)

Sept. 11, 2015 By Christian Murray

Residents of Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City will soon have a direct say on how $1 million in city funds will be spent in the district.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who each year allocates city funds toward local parks, clubs and schools, is about to start the participatory budgeting process for the second year, where a portion of the funds he receives from the City are put in the hands of the community to spend.

On Monday, Van Bramer will be hosting a kick-off event at the Sunnyside Community Service Center to explain to residents how the process works (see poster below).

The participatory budgeting program allows residents to put forward ideas as to how the money should be spent, which will then be put up for a vote in spring.

“It’s a great way for people to become more engaged and active in the community,” Van Bramer said. “When we do that we are a better society.”

Last year, residents put forward 27 ideas with voters selecting items such as a bike pathway in Long Island City and playground upgrades at Queensbridge Houses (see article).

The process involves holding a series of workshops where residents initially put forward their ideas that will later be whittled down to a list that will be put up for a vote.

There will be 10 workshops scattered throughout the district in coming. The first one in Woodside will take place on Sept 17 at Christ Lutheran Church (see below); in Long Island City on Sept. 22 at PS/IS 78; and Sunnyside at the Sunnyside Library on Oct. 6.

Van Bramer said that he aims to grow the level of interest in the process. Last year about 1,500 people cast ballots. This year he is hoping to get well over 2,000.

“This is a progressive way to allocate funding and there are a lot of taxpayer dollars involved,” he said.

PB Neighborhood Assemblies (1)


PB KickOff
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the reality is....

Find a project, assemble the committees to study it, file the permits, draw up the plans, hire engineers, draw up the contracts for politicians pals…. by the time the first truck arrives on site you’re already at 900K!!

its not 1960, 1 million aint much, politicians and their pals can suck that bone clean in weeks!

Dino velvet

I’m thinking maybe a million dollars worth of tents for the drunk, homeless latins living in the parks.
We can set up Tent City under the 7 train el and cram them all in there in tents.

Avoid the Noid

That’s a great idea. They could also offer babysitting and tutoring services for the community to help them get back on their feet.

Just thinking

Well, it sure is a wonderful way to change the conversation from corruption in the politician/developer nexus, isn’t it? Where are the statements against pricing all the renters in this district out of their homes? Where is the statement in favor of the Small Business Job Survival Act? When the heat comes down, bring out something shiny to distract them, like a million dollars. Oldest ploy in the book. And thanks for playing along with it, Sunnyside Post.

In Sunnyside

Ugh… the last one was such a joke. Bike lanes in Long Island City? It was like a give away to developers.


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