UPDATE Tue. Apr. 3, 3:58 p.m.: The results for the participatory budget vote are in and 1,085 voters in District 45 turned out to be heard last week, according to a spokesman for Councilman Jumaane Williams. The winning projects for the district, which includes the Fiske Terrace and Midwood Park sections of Ditmas Park, will be announced Wednesday.
Neighborhoods whose winning projects have been announced include and .
Usually residents can only get money for neighborhood improvements by applying for grants or lobbying local politicians for use of discretionary funds.
Projects range from an urban agriculture program at P.S. 152/315 to a new performing arts studio at Tilden Educational Campus to new computers at P.S. 269, 109 and 181.
The voting is part of a pilot project called “participatory budgeting.” Four councilmembers in New York City are taking part in the experiment including Councilman Jumaane Williams, who represents the 45th District. (The other three are Councilmembers Brad Lander, D-Park Slope, Eric Ulrich, R-Howard Beach and Melissa Mark-Viverito, D-Upper West Side).
"The message behind participatory budgeting is 'your money, your voice, your vote,’” said Councilman Jumaane Williams via e-mail.
“We are empowering the residents of our districts to get educated and engaged in the budgetary process that controls so much of how this city functions from day to day. I believe this has produced a more active electorate that demands more of its elected officials, which is how democracy truly thrives," he added.
People living between Foster Avenue and Avenue H and E 17th Street and Ocean Avenue are in the 45th District and are eligible to take part (those on the dead-end streets between 17th and the subway are not in the 45th District). Anyone 18 or older living in the district can cast a ballot, regardless of whether they are a U.S. citizen or registered to vote. Participants should bring official documents proving their address and age (see list of qualifying documents ).
The process started in the fall, when area residents formed groups and came up with proposals. The voting will take place all this week and the winning projects will be incorporated into the 2013 budget.
Here is a list of the projects. Residents will be able to choose up to five:
- $350,000 to buy a facility to serve as a community resource center at 1073 Utica Ave. between Beverly and Tilden
- $750,000 to replace the outdated air conditioning at the Clarendon Library
- $72,000 to provide air conditioning to one and a half floors of classrooms at P.S. 198
- $150,000 for new computers for P.S. 269
- $150,000 for new computers for P.S. 109
- $150,000 for new computers for P.S. 181
- $228,800 for a demonstration site in urban agriculture, greenhouse production, composting and more at P.S. 152/315
- $400,000 for a total of 12 security cameras to be installed at the following intersections: Farragut Road and E.45th St.; Ave. D and E. 56th ST; Utica Ave and Ave D; Amersfort Park (E. 38th St. and Ave. J); Clarendon Road and New York Ave.; Farragut Road and E. 31st St.
- $150,000 to install floodlights in the following parks: Tilden Playground, Harry Maze Park, Amersfort Park, Paerdaget Park and Glenwood Park.
- $840,000 for sidewalk “bump outs,” which make it easier to cross the street and see oncoming traffic at Linden Boulevard at E 51st and E. 52nd streets.
- $300,000 for installation of field lights for the athletic field at Tilden Education Campus.
- $150,000 to create a performing arts studio at Tilden Educational Campus
- $150,000 to extend the track from 380 meters to a standard 400 meter track at Tilden Educational Campus
Residents can vote at the following times and locations this week:
Monday, March 26 to Friday, March 30, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Councilman Jumaane Williams’ District Office, 4517 Avenue D
Monday, March 26, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Clarendon Road Church, 3304 Clarendon Road
Tuesday, March 27, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Rugby Library, 1000 Utica Ave.
Tuesday, March 27, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., St. Paul Lutheran Church, 3913 Avenue J
Thursday, March 29, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Glenwood Community Center, 5816 Farragut Road
Saturday, March 31 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wyckoff Farm House, 5816 Clarendon Road
Sunday, April 1, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Young Israel of Avenue K, 2818 Avenue K
Which projects are most important to you? tell us in the comments.