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The following is a press release from the office of City Councilman David Greenfield:
Brooklyn – Councilman David G. Greenfield was joined by approximately 75 community residents and by representatives from the Participatory Budgeting Project and Community Voices Heard last week to kick off the participatory budgeting initiative in the 44th Council District neighborhoods ofBoroPark, Midwood and Bensonhurst. Under participatory budgeting, which will bring more transparency and openness to how tax dollars are spent locally, district residents will have say over how $1 million in government funding is spent on capital projects right in their own neighborhood. At the information session last Tuesday in Bensonhurst, the residents and activists in attendance learned more about exactly how participatory budgeting will work over the next eight months as the community brainstorms, nominates and eventually votes on which projects they want funded.
“I am very excited about participatory budgeting. Nobody knows their community better than the people who live there, and I am confident residents will put forth ideas that will benefit our local neighborhoods, including many projects that government might not have thought of otherwise. This will give the public a direct say in the budgeting process and allow us to fund some great projects in the community that will be suggested as this process moves forward,” said Greenfield, who brought participatory budgeting to his district as part of his ongoing efforts to fulfill his campaign promise to make the budgeting process more open and transparent.
At the information session, residents from around the district were given an overview of how participatory budgeting works, including the process between now and when the public will vote on the nominated projects this spring. Moving ahead, residents who can commit to attending several meetings each month will be considered as delegates to serve on committees focusing on areas like transportation, recreation and education. As the public suggests projects over the next couple of months, the delegates will help shape these ideas into formal proposals for the final ballot to be presented to the public in March or April. Residents who are not delegates can still attend meetings, suggest projects and take part in the public vote next spring. After the vote to decide which projects are funded – with at least one chosen from each of the three district neighborhoods – the delegates will then work with city officials and agencies next summer to implement the winning ideas.
“It was great to see so many residents and community leaders get involved in this exciting effort and have a direct say in how their taxes are reinvested here inBoroPark, Midwood and Bensonhurst. I am very excited to work with many residents over the next few months on ideas that will directly benefit the neighborhood and improve the quality of life for everyone. This is a great chance to have a voice in how your tax dollars are spent locally, so I urge everyone to get involved. My thanks to those residents who helped get participatory budgeting off to a great start last week,” addedGreenfield.
The next participatory budgeting session is scheduled for Wednesday, September 5 at Greenfield’s district office, located at 4424 16th Avenue, starting at 7 p.m. For more information, contact the district office at (718) 853-2704 or visit pbnyc.org. Every resident who lives in the 44th Council District is invited to attend upcoming participatory budgeting meetings and get involved to make sure their voice is heard. In all, 1.3 million New Yorkers, including nearly 175,000 in Councilman Greenfield’s district, will have the opportunity to take part in participatory budgeting this year, making it the largest such program in the nation.