The Council of the City of New York
Office of Council Member Costa Constantinides
For Immediate Release
May 5, 2015
Contact: Shachar Sharon
Participatory Budgeting Winning Projects Unveiled
Astoria, N.Y. – New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides today announced the results of this year’s Participatory Budgeting process. Residents of the 22nd district cast their ballot on where they wanted city funding to be spent and winning ballot proposals will receive funding.
This year’s winning District 22 Participatory Budgeting projects are:
1. Public School District-wide Tech Upgrades ($245,000) – 825 votes
Technology upgrades of $35,000 each for: PS 84, PS 122, PS 234, IS 235, PS 17, PS 2, IS 141
2. Dog Run in Astoria ($500,000) – 773 votes
Turn Triboro Lot C under the RFK Bridge, which is currently empty, into a dog run.
Location: Hoyt Ave. bet. 23 St. & 24 St.
3. IS 126 Playground ($500,000) – 715 votes
Transform IS 126’s parking lot into a recreational playground for the school and the entire community.
Location: 31-51 21 St.
Constantinides originally committed to allocating $1 Million of his FY ‘15-’16 discretionary budget to the winners of Participatory Budgeting. The first two projects cost $745,000. Funding the third project would take the total to $1,245,000. Constantinides plans to allocate more funding from his discretionary budget to fully support all three projects.
2,204 residents of the 22nd district cast ballots this year. The 2014 citywide Participatory Budgeting cycle reached approximately 1,700 voters per district.
Constantinides said, “We all look forward to seeing these winning projects be implemented. I am proud of the work that everyone has done throughout Participatory Budgeting. The entire process has been community-driven, inclusive, and engaging. I am excited to see the strong voter response that gave everyone a voice in the city budgeting process. The technology upgrades across the district, a new dog run in a neighborhood that currently lacks even one, and a playground in a where students have no official schoolyard will enrich the lives of families and children throughout Astoria. I thank everyone who participated including facilitators, budget delegates, voting site volunteers, and all the residents who voted.”
The Participatory Budgeting process involves a series of meetings that feed into the city’s annual budget cycle. Hundreds of community members attended four assemblies, held in October and November throughout Astoria and Jackson Heights, and brainstormed project ideas. Close to 100 residents volunteered to be Budget Delegates. These delegates broke into groups that worked on specific issues and transformed the initial list of 250 capital project ideas into a ballot of eighteen fully-formed proposals. In mid-April, over 2,200 residents cast ballots on their favorite projects. Voting took place at sites across the district including community rooms, shopping centers, offices, schools, libraries, subway stations, and parks.
Costa Constantinides represents the New York City Council’s 22nd District, which includes his native Astoria along with parts of Woodside, East Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. He serves as the chair the City Council’s Sub-Committee on Libraries and sits on seven standing committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Environmental Protection, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.