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 10th year of the program, which is now rolling out city-wide. 

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 10th 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. 

District 39 includes the neighborhoods of Cobble Hill • Carroll Gardens • Columbia Waterfront • Gowanus • Park Slope • Windsor Terrace • Borough Park, Kensington.

Click here to learn how to Get Involved.