Greenfield to hold participatory budget meeting Nov. 10

November 9, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Councilmember David G. Greenfield says more than 2,000 of his constituents took part in the budgeting process last year. Photo courtesy of Greenfield’s office
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Councilmember David G. Greenfield is once again having his district take part in the City Council’s participatory budgeting process and will hold a kickoff meeting today, Nov. 10. to introduce constituents to the program.

The meeting, where residents of the 44th Council District can learn all about participatory budgeting, will take place at the Georgie Ballroom, 4424 16th Ave., at 6 p.m.

Under participatory budgeting, residents get to decide how funds from the city budget should be spent in their neighborhoods.

Greenfield (D-Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst) has allocated $1 million for his district in the participatory budgeting process.

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Residents will get to take part in a series of workshops and then vote on which community improvement projects should get funding.

“This is a great opportunity for community members to have a direct say in how their tax dollars are spent,” Greenfield said.

Twenty-seven City Council members are having their districts take part in participatory budgeting. In addition to Greenfield, the Brooklyn councilmembers taking part in the program are Robert Cornegy, Laurie Cumbo, Mathieu Eugene, Brad Lander, Stephen Levin, Carlos Menchaca, Antonio Reynoso, Mark Treyger and Jumaaane Williams.

Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who also takes part in the participatory budgeting, said the New York City Council has the largest participatory budgeting program in North America.

“Participatory Budgeting enfranchises diverse New Yorkers — from immigrants with limited English proficiency, to young people, to lower-income workers — resulting in a civic dialogue that is truly inclusive. Last year, over 51,000 New Yorkers voted for locally-developed capital projects across the city, and we look forward to building on that resounding success in the upcoming 2015-2016 cycle,” she said when she announced a new round of participatory budgeting in September.

Participatory budgeting was widely successful last year in the 44th Council District, according to Greenfield. “Last year, we had over 2,000 residents participate in Participatory Budgeting,” he said. “This year, I am hoping that even more will get involved.”  

The four winning projects of last year’s participatory budgeting were street repair and resurfacing for the district ($200,000), digital bus signs for the B11 and B6 buses to let riders know when the next bus is coming ($200,000), the Beautify Borough Park Initiative to plant 100 new trees in the neighborhood ($170,000), and funding for a brand new headquarters for the OHEL Children and Family Services organization ($500,000).  

The kickoff meeting on Nov. 10 will be followed by workshops, called neighborhood assemblies, where residents can learn more about the proposed projects. The participatory budgeting process takes place from now until April.

For more information, call Greenfield’s office at 718-853-2704.

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