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Van Bramer launches third season of participatory budgeting

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer launches a third season of participatory budgeting in his district where 3,600 people took part in the process last year.
Courtesy Van Bramer’s office
By Bill Parry

City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) kicked off his third year of participatory budgeting in which residents of Woodside, Sunnyside, Long Island City, Dutch Kills and parts of Astoria will decide how $1 million will be spent. Last year more that 3,600 people took part in the process that ultimately allocated $1.8 million to the six most popular projects.

“Over the last two years, our Participatory Budgeting initiative has delivered over $3.3 million in real results for our community,” Van Bramer said. “Participatory budgeting gives our communities real power to implement change and have a greater say in the governance of our city.”

In September and October, stakeholders gather at neighborhood assemblies to brainstorm ideas for capital projects. Then volunteer budget delegates work with Van Bramer’s office and city agencies to turn community ideas into real, implementable projects.

In the spring neighborhood residents vote on their favorite projects and the winning ones receive full funding. In the past two years, winning projects have included a special needs playground at P4 in Long Island City, basketball court renovations at Ravenswood and Queensbridge houses, pedestrian safety upgrades in Dutch Kills, accessibility for the Sunnyside and Woodside libraries, and more.

The first of seven neighborhood assemblies will take place at Woodside on the Move, located at 39-42 59th St., Thursday, Sept. 15, at 6 p.m.

“This year I hope to build on the successes of the previous two participatory budgeting cycles and have even more people generate ideas, serve as budget delegates, and get out to vote for their favorite projects,” Van Bramer said.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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