You are reading

Van Bramer Wants Feedback on How Best to Spend $1 Million in City Funds, to Host Meeting on Participatory Budgeting

(Photo: Courtesy of CM Van Bramer’s office)

July 1, 2014 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 on local parks, clubs and schools, plans on introducing participatory budgeting in the 2015/2016 fiscal year, where about 30% of the discretionary funds he receives will be put in the hands of the community to spend.

Next week, Van Bramer will be hosting two “Participatory budget information session” —one in Sunnyside, the other in Queensbridge–to explain to residents how the process works and how individuals should put forward their ideas for the neighborhood. (see meeting details below)

The participatory budgeting program allows residents to determine where to allocate funds for capital projects in the district. The community might decide to spend funds on, say, improving a Long Island City park to funding a Woodside dog run.

The process involves holding a series of town hall meetings and workshops where residents present their ideas to the community and a vote is held on whether an item is worth funding.

“I’m excited by this,” Van Bramer said when he announced it at a Community Board 2 meeting earlier this year. “It is a community driven process that allows people to vote,” he said at the time. “It is a way to increase transparency.”

Van Bramer said he was reluctant to allow the community to vote on all–or most–of the discretionary funds the district is allotted. He said that some groups that are not as well organized might be overlooked in the process. However, he said at time, he would monitor how it works out and would make changes accordingly.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 
do your research

If you look at the participatory budgeting that has taken place in NYC recently, you’ll see it’s quite a process and requires collaboration of small groups to mold and negotiate project ideas and only then do the projects for up for a vote. So it requires commitment of concerned citizens/residents of the community.


@waste, what part of “plans on introducing participatory budgeting in the 2015/2016 fiscal year” did you not understand? You really thought you’d be holding a vote tonight? Stupid or liar, which is it?

Waste of Time as Usual

nothing suggested or voted what a waste of time meeting was preview of later meetings with power point lecture the advertisement on sunnyside post and Jimmy VanBremers office said come to vote and asked how would you SPEND 100 MILLION dollars get your media in order


Monthly Residents only so added traffic would be minimal (no daily parking)

An inexpensive community Parking Lot.


Defo agree with P Dorfman. There is no public green space in Sunnyside! A shocking legacy and crime from unplanned, unmanaged urban development. We need to get a long-term ‘master’ plan and fund together to create a true community park for the simple quality of life and health benefits it would bring to all. $1 million dollars won’t do it but a sizable chunk of it should be put aside as ‘seed’ money (excuse the pun) while a long-term vision is created by community input.
The rest of the money should be used, in the interim, to make the area cleaner – more trash cans, flowers, trees, poop-bags for dog walkers on every block so they have no excuse etc. We all deserve better. Just my two cents.

Zero The Hero

Been Here 25 Years – Read the article. The meetings are NEXT WEEK! Do you have a time machine I can borrow so I can attend them now?

South Side Johnny

They could raise another million if they ENFORCED the law against cars & motorcycles that exceed the speed limit. Put an undercover cop car by 43rd Tr. & 50th Ave. and see how many people speed through that intersection- almost every traffic fatality happens because the vehicle is going too fast and cannot stop in time to avoid colliding with pedestrian or bicycle.

30 mph is considered a “suggestion” by many motorists who drive through our community. I want traffic islands in the middle of each intersection, and more stop signs, so there is no chance of getting to 30 MPH before you are forced to slow down again. Speed bumps are temporary- traffic islands & stop signs work better. But ENFORCEMENT is much needed.


I certainly hope none of these “discretionary funds” are discretely disbursed to Sunnyside Gardens Park. They’re happy to take tax dollars but they won’t take taxpayers unless they live in certain parts of the community. Glad that secret deal was made public, since it was public money funneled to a private and exclusive club. We all learned a little more about how things work around here.

Flores 65


You definitely have a point. It’s as if they now rule Sunnyside and view longtime residents as “OLD FARTS”. That kind of treatment is cold hearted and immature.

@The Grimster

How mean can you be?! They are the ones who shaped this neighborhood!

The Grimster

Collect all the OLD FARTS and ship them to Flushing so they can be flushed away. More hipsters less Old Farts.

Mike Novak

After school programs!
There are many decent hard-working families who depend on the after school programs to provide a safe environment for their kids while they are at work.
While some of the newcomers to Sunnyside can afford to send their kids to tony and expensive private schools, the majority of the working class can use a hand, not a handout. And after-school programs are a HUGE helping hand to hard-working families.


Fix the crumbling sidewalks and drainage issues along Greenpoint Ave specifically 44th & 45th Streets. We get trees planted after every election anyways .


I’d spend the money on decent street cleaning, more police presence and TRASH cans which are desperately needed all over the neighborhood.

I’d also begin fining buildings that don’t take care of their street corners. Last year there was a building with a dirty DIAPER outside for no joke, 6 months. Finally the department of sanitation came and it was gone. But now there’s vodka bottles, soda bottles etc in the exact same spot.

Patricia Dorfman

a million not a lot of money. lots of great ideas here, but if so many items are funded, we won’t get a big result…we have not enough open or green space here, and with development we soon will have more traffic, people, dogs, need for air, land and water. imagine manhattan without central park…why not start a fund to buy a teardown building and then tear it down. start a small park. it would be hard but would fulfill the greatest need for all of us. everyone needs public open space, particularly the non-rich. land here is shooting up so this is a kind of impossible dream, but hey, maybe some developer will do a give back.

off topic: i am not opposed to the plazas, i just don’t want small businesspeople like the halal vendor cast out. let him have his space back and access later. we are starting a petition this week for mohammed. he is a US citizen, has a kid in ps 199, and is a local resident. the businesses selling similar fare, who would normally want to oust a non-overhead paying cart, are all in his corner! what is the point of ousting a successful small businessman and then bringing in sanitized vendors later who are approved by someone who will not be buying the food?

Bliss Street Mike

They should put the Aluminaire house that got denied in Sunnyside to the lot across the way from LINC LIC where the food trucks used to be. It’s across the way from the Court Square stop and down the way from PS1. It would could highlight the difference between the contemporary modern architecture of LIC and the futuristic designs of the past, while bringing some extra tourist dollars into Western Queens.

Anthony Blackwood

More garbage bins Please. At the corner of Queens bldv and 46th street the garbage bin is the size of a decent bucket that’s overflowing every morning. Requesting more sanitation officers paroling the neighborhood issuing tickets to merchants and home owners that don’t clean their side walks. Honestly, Sunnyside has become so filthy in the last 2 years. And think of it every time we get a new improved Garbage bin Jimmy VB could get his picture taken standing beside it


I agree with Zero the Hero. We definitely need speed bumps along 43rd Street near the BQE. Just the other day there was an accident near 50th Avenue. And yes, more trees and flowers everywhere!

Been Here 25 Years

Hey Zero:

Being proactive means getting out of your pajamas and actually doing something not just writing about it in the Sunnyside Post.


@ zero the hero great ideas. I would like to see someone employed to pick up the garbage,dog poop , beer cans and cheap vodka bottles that are all over Sunnyside. The community is not doing it so pay someone to do it. More trees, flowers would also be nice. Beautify 46th street between qns blvd and greenpoint avenue.


What about giving some trainings on new people (who moved from God knows where; KY, IA, PA or those cattle farm states) how to have and shoe some respect towards original residents, yes, we are Whites, Asians and Latinos living together peacefully and harmoniously for many years. These new folks don’t know how to say “Thank you” and have a habit of looking down on people (yes, we feel it and just so ya know a lot of us speak English and have college degrees). I have say this for these new people are very arrogant and very very rude. What a bunch of low class people with shitty attitude. I don’t mean all of them but a lot of them. By the way, I am Irish American and my best friend is Latino American. We both notice that and hate it so much. So some ethic training for those “New” hipster/YAPies. Thanks.

Zero the Hero

What a wonderful idea! Now that I’m pro-active thanks to the kind words of a few posters on this board I’ve put my thinking cap on and come up with a some ideas to make Sunnyside even more fantastic!

1) Speed bumps on 43rd street to stop people from doing 70 MPH trying to beat the lights going to and getting from the BQE. Maybe a few on Queens Boulevard too just because…
2) Elevators at either the 40th or 46th street subway stations for those physically unable (or just too lazy) to climb the stairs.
3) An Over or Underpass of queens boulevard so people don’t have to take their lives in their hands trying to cross the boulevard of death. Would make sense to do this at one of the subway stops……
4) A new york state peace officer to patrol the neighborhood that has the power to arrest people for tresspassing when they go onto my private property to dig thru my garbage for 5¢ cans, dog owners who don’t pick up their pets waste and the bootleg dvd ladies for possessing counterfit goods. You know how those quailty of life issue crimes end up causing REAL crime in the neighborhood. Seems like the police are too busy to handle these types of crimes these days.
5) grants to put murals/art into empty storefront windows so we don’t get stuck looking and browning newspapers covering the windows for months on end. Nodus just did this and it looks Horrible. I’m guessing most commercial landlords wouldn’t let artist use the space out of the goodness of their hearts so a few bucks a month might sweeten the deal for them because I’m sure the tax breaks they are already getting for having the stores vacant by asking for unrealistic rents aren’t enough…….


Parking Lot and After School Programs….this shouldn’t even be a question, it’s what Sunnyside has needed THE MOST

Long-time resident

Dear Counsil Member Jimmy Van Bramer:

As a supporter of yours truly, I trust you will make the right decisions.

In my opinion, Sunnyside does not need two, proposed plazas under the # 7 train. Attention should be paid to the homeless who live under the train, or have people been looking the other way? Plazas will be a novelty at first, but will quickly ware off with locals. The location is really not appealing. The car fumes from Queens Blvd., and the noise from the train are really not healthy, or inviting.

Money can be better spent on the Sunnyside community, don’t you think?

Flores 65

Great! I hope the money is spent on making this neighborhood better for everyone, not just young people only. Many of the new business and venues today only target young people and not everyone regardless of age. Let’s not forget the people who shaped this neighborhood. The new people, who are otherwise fine human beings I am sure, see the people who were already here as wallpaper in their new lives, and some of them think the wallpaper is in bad taste. Its an immature and cold attitude!


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Crunching the Queens crime numbers: felony assaults across the borough on the rise, burglaries down slightly in northern Queens

Feb. 21, 2024 By Ethan Marshall

The number of felony assaults across Queens increased during the 28-day period from Jan. 22 through Feb. 18, compared to the same period of time last year, according to the latest crime stats released by the NYPD Tuesday. At the same time, the number of reported burglaries experienced a slight but noticeable drop in northern Queens.