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Participatory Budgeting Makes a Comeback to District 26, Help Decide How to Spend $1 Million on Area Projects

Residents voting for projects that were on the ballot in 2016 at Sunnyside Library (File photo)

Sept. 15, 2022 By Christian Murray

Participatory budgeting is coming back to District 26, where area residents can pitch ideas and vote on how to spend $1 million of city funds on capital projects, Council Member Julie Won announced earlier this week.

A series of neighborhood assemblies will take place in Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City from Sept. 16 through Oct. 12, where attendees can learn about the participatory budgeting process and propose capital projects that they would like to see funded.

Residents will vote next year on the proposed capital projects that they would like to see come do the district.

Won, in a tweet, said this year marks the 12th cycle of the New York City Council’s participatory budgeting and said that her office is excited to be part of the process. She said that 28 of the 51 council districts are participating this year.

The 26th Council District has not been part of participatory budgeting process since 2019, given COVID-19 and last year’s council district election.

The projects must be “capital projects” that benefit the public and cost at least $50,000, with a life span of at least 5 years. Improvements to schools, parks, libraries, public housing and public space are often funded through the process. The projects must also be located within the confines of the 26th Council District.

The capital projects must be within the confines of District 26 as shown in gray

The participatory budgeting process takes about nine months from start to finish and begins with the meetings this month.

Volunteer delegates will then comb through the ideas and put together a list of projects that will be put to a vote.

The ballot is typically released in March, with residents eligible to vote for up to five projects they’d like to see funded. The ballot typically has more than a dozen projects that residents can choose from.

The most popular projects will be funded up until the $1 million budget has been exhausted.

The results will be announced no later than June 2023, before the City Council passes the budget. The winning projects will be included in the budget for 2023-24 fiscal year.

“Participatory budgeting brings transparency and allows our neighbors to decide how we as a community should spend $1 million dollars,” Won said in a statement. “We’re actively looking for volunteers and budget delegates to do outreach for us in the community, so please reach out to our office if you’re interested in volunteering.”

Neighborhood assemblies will be held at the following places and times:

Culture Lab LIC
Friday, Sept. 16 between 6:30- p.m.-7:30 p.m.
5-25 46th Ave., Long Island City

Sunnyside Community Services 
Thursday, Sept. 22 between 6 p.m.- 7 p.m.
43-31 39th St., Sunnyside

Woodside Library
Thursday, Sept. 29 between 6 p.m.- 7 p.m.
54-22 Skillman Ave., Woodside

Zoom–Virtual Sesson
Tuesday, Oct. 4 between 6 p.m.- 7 p.m.

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