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

For Immediate Release
April 24, 2018
Contact: Shachar Sharon

Constantinides Unveils Winning Participatory Budgeting Projects

Astoria, N.Y. – New York City Council Member Costa Constantinides today announced which capital projects won a district-wide vote to receive discretionary funding as part of the Participatory Budgeting program.  He was joined by community volunteers who assisted during the Participatory Budgeting process. This year almost 3,300 neighborhood residents cast their ballot, a majority of which were cast online at pbnyc.org.

Voting was held from April 7th-15th both online and at in-person sites across the district including libraries, community spaces, offices, schools, subway stations, and senior centers.  Residents voted for projects they wanted to receive capital funding from a ballot created by community volunteers. The winning projects totalled $1 million in funding.

The winning projects were:

1. Road Repair and Resurfacing ($250,000) – 1667 votes
Exact locations within District 22 will be determined by the NYC Department of Transportation based on roadway needs.  The $250,000 would cover up to 1 mile of a one-way street.

2. STEM Lab at IS 141 ($300,000) – 1658 votes
Includes tools for chemistry, biology and math, robotics equipment, circuitry, engineering, 3D printing, programming and design.

3. Redo Library Children’s Area ($300,000) – 1637 votes
Project will provide funding towards improving the children’s room in Queens Library Astoria branch.

4. Lighting at Astoria Houses Community Center ($150,000) – 1395 votes
Adding lighting in the NYCHA Astoria Houses Community Center entrance and extra lights in entryways, hallways, and stairwells.

As the first of many steps until the completion of these projects, they will be funded by Constantinides as part of his FY ‘19 discretionary capital budget which will pass in June.  After the budget is passed, city agencies will seek further community input, put together designs, and go through planning stages before construction begins.

Constantinides said, “I thank all our volunteers and committee members for their hard work to make this cycle of Participatory Budgeting a success once again this year.  This volunteer-driven process wouldn’t be possible without the help of everyone who assisted at a voting site or joined a budget delegate committee. I am proud that this program has continued to progress and become more inclusive of all our residents through online voting capabilities.  It is evident that these digital opportunities encouraged more residents to cast their ballot on their computers or phones this year. We are happy to provide this rewarding opportunity that brings the city budget process directly to our community members and helps keep our neighborhood civically engaged.  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.  Not only did residents vote for their favorite projects, but all the project proposals on the ballot were created by community volunteers.  Last fall, nearly 400 residents attended neighborhood assemblies and idea collection sessions, where over 600 ideas were brainstormed. Volunteers broke up into issues-based committees and transformed the list of ideas into a ballot of fully-formed project proposals with details and costs.

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 four additional committees: Parks, Transportation, For-Hire Vehicles, and Land Use, as well as the sub-committee on Zoning and Franchises. For more information, visit council.nyc.gov/costa.

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