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District 39

Shahana Hanif

Downtown Brooklyn-DUMBO-Boerum Hill, Carroll Gardens-Cobble Hill-Gowanus-Red Hook, Park Slope, Windsor Terrace-South Slope, Sunset Park (West), Green-Wood Cemetery, Prospect Heights, Borough Park, Kensington, Flatbush (West)-Ditmas Park-Parkville, Prospect Park

What is Participatory Budgeting?

Participatory Budgeting (PB) is grassroots democracy in action. Participatory Budgeting was first implemented in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in 1989 by the socialist Workers’ Party. The political party sought to bring its decentralized and democratic party into government, and thus, PB was born. Rather than budget details being decided in secret behind closed doors, PB allows everyday people to engage with their government and decide how their public dollars are spent. In New York City, our city government sets aside a portion of the budget that individual Council Members can decide to use for PB. Every day people in those districts can submit ideas for projects they’d like to see, vote on their favorites, and ensure their priorities get funded by their public dollars. Cities around the world (from Barcelona to Seoul) engage in this form of direct democracy and budget justice, where government and people work together to allocate resources to community needs. 

PB started in NYC right here in the 39th District as one of the first neighborhoods in the United States to engage in this form of direct democracy. Participatory Budgeting is also personal for Council Member Shahana Hanif, who led PB while working as the Director of Organizing and Community Engagement for the 39th. Council Member Hanif knows that PB is an important pathway to leadership for young people and communities historically excluded from governing.

Time to Vote!

We are so excited that PB Cycle 13 is upon us, Vote Week is from April 6th – April 14th!! All the projects on the ballot have been submitted and developed by community members. Everyone, over the age of 11 and regardless of citizenship status, who lives in or has a special connection (work, school) in District 39 has the opportunity to vote!

You can in-person at the locations below or you can vote with our online ballot at

We welcome folks to join us as volunteers as well, sign-up on our volunteer form here.

How to vote!

In-person voting! See locations below:

Saturday, April 6th
Attend the Participatory Budgeting Expo
to learn about the projects at
PowerHouse Arts, 322 3rd Ave
2 PM – 4 PM
RSVPs appreciated: Please use the following form here.

Old Stone House, 336 3rd St
11 AM – 3 PM

Windsor Terrace Library, 160 E 5th St
6 PM – 8 PM

Kensington Plaza, 118 Beverley Rd
12 PM – 4 PM

SUNDAY, April 14th
Old Stone House, 336 3rd St
11 AM – 3 PM

This year’s projects (vote for up to 3 on each ballot):

Past Projects Examples

Here are some examples of past projects that you helped get funded! 

1: Storytelling garden with micro-amphitheater at the Park Slope Library 

2: Self-Defense Classes for young Muslim women and allies 

3: New “Lake Mess Monster”, an aquatic weed harvester for Prospect Park!