Brooklyn Heights

Levin’s Brooklyn district to participate in budgeting $1.5 million

Residents fund projects in their neighborhoods

September 1, 2015 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember Stephen Levin has increased funding for Participatory Budgeting in District 33, which includes Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights and Boerum Hill. Photo by Mary Frost
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How would you spend $1.5 million?

Residents of Councilmember Stephen Levin’s District 33 (Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Brooklyn Heights, Boerum Hill) will be able to decide which capital projects in their district will receive a piece of $1.5 million this year through the Participatory Budgeting process.

In past Participatory Budgeting cycles Councilmember Levin set aside roughly $1 million to fund projects proposed and voted on by community members. Due to the popularity of the process, he decided to increase the funds this year.

“It is clear that residents of my district are enthusiastic about Participatory Budgeting and that they have plenty of great ideas to bring to the table,” Levin said in a statement. “Committing an additional $500,000 this year will bring more of those ideas into reality and bring more community members into this process.”

A Levin spokesperson said he expects to see the return of the popular “idea map” from last year, which allows anyone with Internet access to drop a pin on a map of the district and describe their idea.

Last year’s funded projects included renovations to a NYC Housing Authority (NYCHA) playground, green space landscaping at NYCHA developments and safer pedestrian crossings on Meeker Avenue.

In 2014, residents voted to fund NYCHA playground repairs, the re-opening of the Gowanus Community Center, reconstruction of the McGolrick Park Playground, funding for the BOOKlyn Shuttle, and renovations to P.S. 261’s bathrooms.

If you want to get involved in Participatory Budgeting, a neighborhood assembly is where it all begins. In an assembly, neighbors come together to discuss neighborhood needs and brainstorm ideas for capital projects. The assemblies for District 33 will take place on the following dates:

Wednesday, Sept. 9: 6:30 p.m., McCarren Play Center, 776 Lorimer Street.

*  Monday, Sept. 14: 6:30 p.m., St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street.

Thursday, Oct. 8: 5 p.m., Independence Community Center, 114 Taylor Street.

Last year, 24 Councilmembers allocated a total of $32 million to fund projects.

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