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

For Immediate Release
April 18, 2016
Contact: Shachar Sharon

Constantinides Unveils Winning Participatory Budgeting Projects

Astoria, N.Y. – New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides today announced the winning Participatory Budgeting capital projects. From March 28-April 3, neighborhood residents voted for which projects they wanted to receive capital funding from a ballot created by community volunteers.

Voting was held at sites across the district including libraries, community spaces, shopping centers, offices, schools, subway stations, and senior centers.

The winning projects were:

1. Water Fountain Project in Astoria Park ($500,000) – 709 votes
Repair or install new water fountains in Astoria Park.

2. Picnic/Gaming Tables Installation in Astoria Park ($250,000) – 704 votes
Place permanent gaming/picnic tables in Astoria Park at locations to be determined by the community.

3. Real Time Bus Countdown Clocks ($480,000) – 682 votes
Install 24 countdown clocks ($20,000 each) on the following bus lines: M60, Q18, Q19, Q33, Q47, Q69, Q101, Q102, Q103, and Q104.

Constantinides committed to designating part of the Participatory Budgeting funding to projects within Jackson Heights. The two projects on the ballot in Jackson Heights will also receive funding. The full list of projects is available here.

Constantinides said, “I’m very pleased by the enthusiasm that the community showed during this year’s Participatory Budgeting process. The district has spoken, and we can see that residents value our parks and green spaces, as well as public transportation. Astoria Park is the jewel of our community, and it will become an even better space for families throughout the neighborhood with these additional amenities. I thank all who volunteered throughout this process and everyone who voted. Seeing all the efforts from our budget delegates and volunteers shows that Participatory Budgeting is democracy in action. We will continue to work with city agencies and community stakeholders as these capital projects are implemented.”

Participatory Budgeting provides an opportunity for residents to be involved in the city budget cycle. This past fall, hundreds of proposals were submitted by residents at neighborhood assemblies across the district. Volunteers broke up into groups and transformed the list of ideas into a ballot of fully-formed project proposals with details and costs. Residents vote for their favorite projects, and all the project proposals on the ballot were created by community volunteers.

The winning projects will be funded in the upcoming FY ‘16-’17 city budget, the first in many steps towards the projects’ final completion. As with the winning projects from the previous cycle, city agencies will seek further community input, put together designs, and go through planning stages before construction begins.

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.

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