Participatory Budgeting Launches in New York City

In four New York City Council districts, residents will soon be able to propose and vote on capital projects to be funded by councilmember's budgets.

Yesterday, Council Member Brad Lander (D-Brooklyn), Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-Manhattan), Council Member Eric Ulrich (R-Queens) and Council Member Jumaane D. Williams (D-Brooklyn) unveiled a new process for budgeting, in which voters in their districts will directly decide how to spend millions of their own tax dollars, a first in New York City.

Through the new initiative, called participatory budgeting, residents will come together in public meetings to discuss local priorities and propose specific infrastructure projects to address the needs of their communities. Community volunteers will finalize proposals and work with city agencies and the council members to estimate costs. Public votes will be held in each district in March, for the residents to decide which projects will be funded. Each council member is reserving at least $1 million in discretionary capital funds for their constituents to allocate.

Participatory budgeting originated in Brazil and has since been adopted in other countries around the globe.

Thanks to Josh Lerner

Full Story: 4 Council Members, Each With $1 Million, Will Let Public Decide How It’s Spent

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