Today, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Council Member Carlos Menchaca and the City Council announced that Participatory Budgeting Vote Week will kick off on Saturday, March 30, and run until Sunday, April 7. In its eight consecutive year, Participatory Budgeting (PB) has grown to include a total of 32 Council Members, representing council districts from across each of the five boroughs. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams allocated $1.5 million toward participating council members in Brooklyn.
Participatory Budgeting, a community-driven process that increases the transparency of budgeting decisions, was launched in 2011 as part of the Council’s efforts to drive civic engagement and democratic participation across the City’s diverse and dynamic neighborhoods. For PB Cycle 8, New Yorkers from 32 council districts will be able to vote and decide how to spend approximately $35 million in capital funding for local projects. To find out if your Council Member participates in PB, and to vote, visit the City Council’s participatory Budgeting website at pbnyc.org/vote.
“In Participatory Budgeting you decide where to spend your money. This is all about direct democracy in your neighborhood. You represent the community and you know, better than anyone, what the real needs of your neighborhood are. We have done amazing work across the city through PB in the last few years, and I can’t wait to see what New Yorkers decide for this year. I encourage all eligible residents to take a moment out of their busy schedule and vote on the future of their neighborhood!” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
“As Participatory Budgeting kicks off across the City starting this Saturday, it is no surprise this process has taken a hold of the City, with 32 Council districts participating this year. Participatory Budgeting is real people from our communities, using real money, to fund real projects. This is grassroots democracy in action, and we need it now more than ever. As Vote Week takes place across the City from March 30 – April 7, I urge all residents who are at least 11 years old and living in participating districts to go out and cast their ballot!” said Council Member Carlos Menchaca.
“I’m thrilled to continue my office’s support for Participatory Budgeting with an allocation of $1.15 million to this year’s cycle. This is the fourth year that I have supported this effort and I am enthusiastic about the continued expansion of community engagement and participatory democracy in Brooklyn. PB has become a hallmark of my administration and I’m especially excited to see it expand to even more council districts this year, including Brownsville, the neighborhood of my birth,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
“We’re honored to support the City Council’s Participatory Budgeting efforts again this year by enabling PB voting on more than 1,800 LinkNYC kiosks throughout the city. We’re thrilled to be able to leverage the Link platform to provide yet another pathway for New Yorkers to participate in the democratic process while on-the-go,” said Department of Information, Technology and Telecommunications Commissioner Samir Saini.
“Participatory Budgeting gives our City’s youth and their families the opportunity to research, gather, and vote for projects that improve their neighborhoods. New Yorkers as young as 11 years old are learning the importance of civic participation when they get involved in deciding how to spend a portion of the City’s budget. DYCD is proud to team up with the City Council to promote its Participatory Budgeting initiative and build stronger communities,” said Department of Youth and Community Development Commissioner Bill Chong.
“The CUNY Mexican Studies Institute was very excited to support with the Spanish translation of the Ballot Projects. We know that Participatory Budgeting NYC gives an opportunity to community members to participate in a deeply civic process. We always look to collaborate with initiatives like this one, that seek to engage all New Yorkers in decision making that will directly benefit our neighborhoods,” said Jose Higuera Lopez of The Jaime Lucero Mexican Studies Institute at The City University of New York.
“Girls for Gender Equity is proud to partner with the New York City Council to support outreach efforts for the eighth cycle of participatory budgeting (PB). This year, we have supported organizations across the city to scale up their ability to engage young people in Vote Week. Since 2015, we have designed and led participatory processes that the City Council has spearheaded to ensure that young people in New York City can have a hand in shaping the decisions that elected officials make that directly impact them. Thank you Speaker Johnson for continuing to support expanding democracy in the five boroughs!” said Joanne N. Smith, Founding President and CEO of Girls for Gender Equity.
“This was our fourth year providing the digital and paper voting solutions for PB NYC. We love working with the Council and we’re inspired by their constant drive to make PB more accessible to all New Yorkers. This year, we were happy to add some innovations such as making voting available through the city’s many Link terminals and analyzing our participation data to make sure that we provide the best possible experience to New Yorkers during the PB. We are proud to be part of such an empowering process!” D21 Project Director Andrew Gray.
“For the Spring 2019 semester, undergraduates at Manhattan College are gaining the opportunity to learn about Participatory Budgeting from a STEM-perspective, applying skills they have acquired in data analytics to information gathered over the past several years of the PB process. These students are working to identify patterns on where different types of projects originate, how different communities within New York City are selecting the projects they will support. This gives our students the additional opportunity to see civic engagement in action, quantifying the evidence that the PB process is truly government of the people, by the people, and for the people,” said Ira Gerhardt of Manhattan College Data Analysis.
“So many of the ideas proposed during the participatory budgeting process directly benefit young people, like parks, playgrounds, or school improvements. This is why we are pleased to partner with Speaker Johnson and the New York City Council in this innovative civic engagement effort. Thanks to their support of the Participatory Budgeting Youth Fellowship, young people across the city will have a voice in how these important budget decisions are made in their community,” said Scott Millstein of Coro, PB Youth Fellows Program.
“Communities deciding for themselves how to spend public dollars is an inherently creative process. Arts & Democracy has helped to cultivate that creativity by integrating arts and culture through the participatory budgeting process. We are delighted to have been part of PB since it began in NYC and to see the City increase its commitment to this innovative and equitable process,” said Caron Atlas of Arts & Democracy.
“Voting on Participatory Budget projects has given my neighbors a chance to invest in our schools and transportation in ways that we see fit. Our students now have new bathrooms, our commuters have subway countdown clocks, and all of us have increased safety via surveillance cameras strategically positioned throughout the neighborhood,” said Heather Dimitriadis, a PB Citywide Committee Member and volunteer.
“One of the great successes of LinkNYC is its ability to bring the democratic process to city streets,” said Jen Hensley, President of Link. “We are thrilled to support the City Council’s Participatory Budgeting efforts again this year, providing another way for New Yorkers to vote for improvements to their neighborhoods.”