Brooklyn Boro

Final participatory budgeting brainstorming meetings coming up as deadline draws closer

September 23, 2016 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Each dot represents a project thought up by a Brooklyn resident to improve their community. Some of these ideas will be funded in this year’s round of Participatory Budgeting, but the deadline to submit ideas is looming. Map courtesy of NYC Council Participatory Budgeting and OpenStreetMap

Got an idea for your community that needs funding?

Gordon E. Berry (Geb) wants to install a slackline and traveling rings in McCarren Park. Matthew W. would like to see a public toilet on Pacific Street between 3rd and 4th avenues so people will stop urinating between cars. Theodore Poulis wants to “pedestrianize” a number of streets in historic Brooklyn Heights. Jason Sanders suggests installing bicycle parking on Court, Smith and Henry streets. Bonnie Durgin wants to air condition M.S. 88 and other Sunset Park schools.

Brooklyn residents are submitting hundreds of great ideas they hope to get funded in this year’s round of Participatory Budgeting. Through the Participatory Budgeting process, community members directly decide how to spend at least $1 million in capital funds in each of the participating districts.

A number of community brainstorming meetings have already taken place, and more are coming up.

Councilmember Stephen Levin, District 33 (Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Williamsburg, Greenpoint, Boerum Hill, Downtown Brooklyn, Bedford–Stuyvesant), will be holding town halls on Sept. 27 at WeWork Brooklyn Heights, 195 Montague St., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and on Sept. 28 at the Independence Towers Community Center, 114 Taylor St., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Councilmember Robert Cornegy, District 36 (Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights), will be holding a series of town halls starting on Sept. 26 and running through October 11. (See http://labs.council.nyc/pb/participate/ for dates and locations).

Councilmember Carlos Menchaca, District 38 (Sunset Park, Greenwood, Red Hook), will be holding his final town hall on Sept. 28 at Opportunities for a Better Tomorrow, 783 4th Ave, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Councilmember Brad Lander, District 39 (Cobble Hill, Columbia Waterfront, Gowanus, Park Slope, Kensington, Boro Park), will be holding his final town hall on Sept. 28 at P.S. 230 in Kensington, 1 Albemarle Road, at 6:30 p.m.

Other Brooklyn councilmembers have wrapped up their town halls, but ideas may still be submitted online until Sept. 30 at http://ideas.pbnyc.org/page/about

Anyone can post ideas to an online participatory budgeting map. There are a few guidelines. For example, eligible ideas must be for “capital” projects: physical infrastructure for public benefit, such as park improvements or new technology for schools. “Expense” projects, such as afterschool programs or expanding bus service, are not eligible.

Here are a few more project ideas recently submitted by Brooklyn residents:

Ryan suggested creating a recreation path encircling Greenwood Cemetery. Jessica Ochoa Hendrix wants a speed bump on a stretch of Beverley Road. The Brooklyn Youth Chorus wants to transform a large rehearsal room into a black box theater. Christina Reyna wants to redesign Carroll Park. And Nicholas Winter wants to turn the closed St. Mary’s playground into a dog park.