“Participatory Budgeting just started and people can submit ideas by October 17th.” That’s the good news from City Council Member Julie Menin’s office. Unique to New York City, everyone gets a shot at deciding how some of their tax dollars are spent.
by David Stone
What is Participatory Budgeting?
Participatory budgeting is a process that gives constituents a direct say in how public funds are spent in their community.
It’s a participatory and inclusive process engaging all members of the community in decision-making. It’s been used successfully in New York City to allocate funds for public projects such as parks, playgrounds, and schools.
It begins with community members identifying needs and priorities. Then, city agencies join forces with them, working together in developing proposals for funding.
Finally, the community votes on the proposals. Last year, $250,000 went to the Roosevelt Island public library and two others for technology improvements.
“I’m very excited to begin another cycle of Participatory Budgeting,” Menin said. “Our Office’s first annual participatory budgeting process was an unqualified success with robust community engagement as over 1800 constituents cast ballots.”
How-To From Julie Menin
“A total of one million dollars of the Council Member’s discretionary budget allocation can be used for physical infrastructure projects that benefit the public, cost at least $50,000, and have a lifespan of at least 5 years. For example, projects such as local improvements to schools, parks, libraries, housing, and other public spaces can be funded.
“Area residents are invited to share project ideas that could be implemented within her Council District by visiting this website and sharing proposals by October 17, 2022.
“Ideas are then submitted to the respective City agency for evaluation and cost and Council Member Menin’s Office works with community partners to formulate a ballot for voting. Ballots will be distributed throughout the East Side of Manhattan and Roosevelt Island as well as through an online portal for voting.”
That’s it, folks. Jump in with good ideas that bring useful revenue to Roosevelt Island.