The Council of the City of New York
Office of Council Member Costa Constantinides
(718) 274-4500

For Immediate Release
August 11, 2015
Contact: Shachar Sharon

Constantinides Allocates $1.5 Million for Next Participatory Budgeting Cycle
Sets Dates For Neighborhood Assemblies

Astoria, N.Y. – New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides has set aside $1.5 Million in discretionary funds for this cycle of Participatory Budgeting, increasing the allocation by 50% compared to the previous cycle. District residents will soon be able to decide how to spend that funding on capital projects within the district.

Starting next month, community members can attend neighborhood assemblies to learn more and brainstorm capital project ideas.

All assemblies are from 7:00pm – 9:00pm:

  • September 16, Bohemian Hall, 29- 19 24th Ave, Astoria
  • September 17, Boulevard Gardens Assembly Hall, 51-42 30th Ave, Woodside
  • September 21, Bulova Corporate Center, 75-20 Astoria Blvd, East Elmhurst
  • September 30, Astoria Houses Community Center, 4-25 Astoria Blvd, Astoria

This cycle, Constantinides specifically designated $500,000 out of the $1.5 Million for projects within Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst.

Constantinides said, “I am excited to bring Participatory Budgeting back to our district. Last cycle was a success with over 2,200 votes cast and with three winning projects that totaled over $1.2 Million in funding. The volunteer-driven program provides an extraordinary opportunity for all our residents to have a voice in our city’s budget process. The process is inclusive and brings our community together. We are especially proud to allocate even more funding for this cycle to make it more inclusive and engage with our Jackson Heights residents. I look forward to working with our neighborhood as we move forward with Participatory Budgeting activities.”

The Participatory Budgeting process involves a series of meetings that feed into the city’s annual budget cycle. During the previous Participatory Budgeting cycle, hundreds of community members attended four assemblies, held in the fall 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. The winning projects were announced in May.

Council Member 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 Environmental Protection Committee and sits on six additional standing committees: Civil Service & Labor, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Oversight & Investigations, Sanitation, and Transportation. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.

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