Participatory budgeting empowers residents to decide how to spend public money in their community. Projects typically on the ballot include things like street tree plantings, playground, school and library upgrades, countdown signs tracking bus arrival times and the like.
In this year’s capital discretionary budget for City Council District 3, Councilmember Erik Bottcher has allocated $1 million for “PB.” District 3 includes Greenwich Village, West Soho, Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, Hudson Square, Times Square, the Garment District, Flatiron and part of the Upper West Side.
Beginning Sat., March 25, locals will have the opportunity to decide how that money will be spent. Voting will be open both online and in person through Sun., April 2.
To kick off vote week, on Thurs., March 23, Bottcher’s office will host a Participatory Budgeting Expo at the Whitney Museum, at 99 Gansevoort St., from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Local residents can meet with volunteer budget delegates who have been working on participating budgeting since September, learn more about and engage with this year’s ballot items and submit their votes early.
As a bonus, the first 200 attendees of the expo will get a free day pass to the Whitney. To register for the event, click here.
This week Bottcher’s office will be announcing which projects are on the ballot and sending out information on how to vote.
“I believe that government should be inclusive, collaborative and accessible, and that’s what participatory budgeting is all about,” Bottcher said in an e-mail to constituents. “I can’t wait to see the great projects you chose for our community!”