Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. We’re excited to start collecting your ideas for how we should invest collectively in our neighborhoods this year!
Last year’s winning projects included funding a sewing circle for survivors of domestic violence in Kensington, making a greener, safer play yard at P.S. 58, installing trash cans for cleaner streets, and a program to train Spanish-speaking teens to be educators.
We are no longer accepting ideas for Cycle 9. If you submitted an idea and want to get involved in developing your ideas into projects, sign up here. Stay tuned for idea collection to start again in Fall 2020.
What Is PB?
Participatory Budgeting (PB) is grassroots democracy in action. It is a year-long process that depends from start to finish on the participation of you and your neighbors. The first step is for residents to come together to brainstorm and share ideas for needed projects. After ideas are collected, volunteers research each idea, including costs and specifics of every proposed project.
Details of the suggested projects are reviewed, finalized, and presented at the Participatory Budgeting Expo in the weeks before the vote. Finally, residents from across the district come out to vote for their favorite projects, and together we collectively decide which of the proposed projects will get funded.
Participatory Budgeting was first implemented in Porto Alegre, Brazil in 1989. District 39 was part of bringing PB to New York City for the first time in 2011. This is our 9th year of the program, which is now rolling out city-wide.
Council Member Brad Lander’s District is one of the only ones that allocates money through Participatory Budgeting to expense projects ($50,000) in addition to capital projects ($1.5 million). Capital projects are usually physical improvements to our neighborhoods, things like new freeze-proof water fountains in Prospect Park, or the new playground at Ennis Park. Expense projects are smaller programs or services for our communities, like bilingual mental health first aid training or women’s self-defense classes.
How Can I Get Involved?
There are many ways to help out in the PB process. You can:
- suggest an idea in person OR online
- attend a neighborhood assembly to learn about ideas being suggested
- become a budget delegate and research proposed ideas
- become a committee facilitator
- spread the word for the vote
- vote on the projects you think would best service the community
Our 2019 winning projects
Expense projects (totalling $50,000)
- Trash Bins for Clean Streets (4181 votes)
- Diaper Changing Stations for Parks & Playgrounds (2214 votes)
- Sewing Circles for Survivors of Domestic Violence, led by Sakhi for South Asian Women (2176 votes)
- Train Spanish-Speaking Teens to be Educators, led by One World Project (1977 votes)
- Bilingual Mental Health First Aid Training, led by Muslims Thrive (1892 votes)
Capital projects (totalling $1.5 million)
- “Down Payment” on Elevator at 7th Ave F/G Station (3958 votes)
- P.S. 58: Make greener, Safer, Improved Play Yard (3272 votes)
- P.S. 130: New Flooring for Safer Environment (3052 votes)
- M.S. 51: New All-Gender Bathrooms & Water Fountains (2880 votes)