10/05/16 9:07am

Should District 33 start printing its maps on dollar bills? You decide.

Do you live in North Brooklyn? Do you have a lot of big ideas for the neighborhood? If you checked yes to both of these, then you’re in luck, because North Brooklyn’s District 33 is looking for volunteer budget delegates from the community to help decide how the neighborhood should spend this year’s $1 million.

It’s super easy to get involved. All you have to do is attend a couple of training sessions — tonight, Oct. 5, and Tuesday Oct. 11 — and  commit to one meeting a month, and you’re in. At last you can champion your big Brooklyn hammock park idea (it’s a park, but instead of benches it has hammocks). (more…)

10/08/14 9:00am

Just what will they spend it on? via Flickr user Mr Seb

After watching as DUMBO and Red Hook and Flatbush get to play around with $1 million in participatory budgeting money, Bushwick residents might have been feeling a little jealous and left out. Well, feel left out no longer, because next week, Bushwick gets a piece of the direct democracy action, with the neighborhood’s first participatory budgeting meeting to discuss how to spend some City Council fun money. Not on a giant cocaine party, get your mind out of the gutter. You spend the money on things that are actually helpful for the neighborhood. (more…)

04/04/14 8:57am
red hook secret garden

The Red Hook Secret Garden: New power players in the election scene

It was only a matter of time, of course, before participatory budgeting was going to go from quaint idea getting more people involved in democracy to brutal fights between neighbors who poured money into electioneering efforts. And now supporters of the Red Hook Secret Garden, a garden next to the Red Hook public library, released an attack ad against their opponents in the contest for a slice of city money. Nah, just kidding, it’s actually a very nice video about how sweet it would be to restore the garden. (more…)

03/28/14 1:50pm
participatory budgeting

Gowanus needs a new community center, but will they get it?

Have you run through House of Cards and are in need of another political fix? You could always watch the superior Veep, but if you’re jonesing for a real life chance to get your politicking on, you could be in luck if you live in Stephen Levin’s district. Participatory budgeting project, which have been proposed and been mapped, are coming up for a vote all around Levin’s district starting on Sunday March 30 running through Sunday, April 6. (more…)

03/05/14 10:31am
participatory budgeting map

It’s like a Command & Conquer map, but for good!

If, like us, you believe in the oft-quoted maxim “Democracy simply doesn’t work,” you might have greeted New York’s welcoming of participatory budgeting with both excitement and dread. It sounds like a good idea in theory, until your neighbor is grinding a meeting to a halt by insisting we spend $200,000 on outfitting dogs with anti-Obama thunder sweaters. But, a map put together by Participatory Budgeting New York allows you to see the ideas that have been proposed, and even propose some yourself without leaving your apartment. (more…)

Jumaane Williams participatory budgeting

Councilmember Jumaane Williams lobbying Curtis Granderson to sign with his office softball team. via Facebook

Participatory budgeting is sweeping Brooklyn! Following in Councilmember Levin and Councilmember Lander’s footsteps all over brownstone Brooklyn, resident badass City Councilmember Jumaane Williams is letting East Flatbush residents get in on the fun! You’ll be guided by a facilitator in small dialogues at a Neighborhood Assembly, where you and your neighbors will decide what to do with $1 MILLION in discretionary funds. (more…)

He's smiling because he knows he can blame you if this goes wrong. via Facebook

He’s smiling because he knows he can blame you if this goes wrong. via Facebook

If you’ll recall, city council member and brunch ally Stephen Levin previously made news for opening up the city’s budgeting process to people in his council district. The question of what to do with a cool one million dollars was left up to residents Levin represented, who eventually decided on tree planting, some park upgrades and school technology funds, all noble goals. If you missed out on the process last time, or have an awesome idea, we’ve got good news: Levin is looking for people to join a committee for the budget program’s next round. (more…)