$1 Million: Yours To Spend

BY JACKIE STRAWBRIDGE
Staff Writer

Western Queens residents have $1 million to spend.

Participatory budgeting, a process by which community members decide how capital funds are spent, will begin this fall in the neighborhood.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) will hold two information sessions next week to introduce residents to the process. The information sessions will be held Tuesday at Sunnyside Community Services and Wednesday at the Jacob Riis Neighborhood Settlement House in Long Island City. Both sessions will begin at 6:30 p.m.

The year-long participatory budgeting process consists of a series of public meetings, concluding with a public vote.

Only capital funds – the money used to pay for physical infrastructure – are available for participatory budgeting in New York City. Projects such as bringing laptops to high schools, installing security cameras in public housing complexes or rehabilitating parks might receive funding from participatory budgeting.

This session marks the first time that participatory budgeting is coming to western Queens.

During last year’s participatory budgeting session, residents of Fresh Meadows and Bayside saw SMART boards set up in elementary and middle school classrooms, fitness equipment installed at Cunningham Park and upgraded security at three libraries.

To RSVP for next week’s participatory budgeting information sessions, email anasner@council.nyc.gov or call (718) 383-9566 ext. 1.

Reach Jackie Strawbridge at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 128, jstrawbridge@queenstribune.com or @JNStrawbridge.