Wednesday, October 19, 2011

What Would You Do With $1 Million Dollars? Councilman Lander To Host Neighborhood Budget Assembly in Carroll Gardens

On Thursday, October 20th, Councilman Brad Lander is hosting a neighborhood assembly at PS 58, 330 Smith Street.  It is one in a series of such gatherings for the residents of the 39th District, where they will have an opportunity to take the first steps towards helping our Councilman determine how to spend $1 million in capital funding.  It is part of an initiative called Participatory Budgeting.  If you care about your community and would like to have a say about help , I urge you to attend.
If you care about parks, among other improvements in your neighborhood, I strongly urge you to read the email below from Councilman Brad Lander and to attend a meeting taking place this Thursday night, October 20th from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at P.S. 58, located at 330 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens. RSVP here.

From Councilman Brad Lander:
Our neighborhood is about to experience a new kind of democracy. Over the next several months, we will undertake an exciting initiative to put   budgeting decisions directly in the hands of the people those decisions will impact most – that means you.
The new initiative, called “participatory budgeting,” is grassroots democracy at its best. Residents in our district will come together, exchange and debate ideas, work together to turn ideas into project proposals, and then decide what ideas get funded at the ballot box.
We are going to need a lot of help pulling together these historic assemblies (and throughout the process). If you would like to volunteer, either to help spread the word about the assemblies or volunteering at the assemblies themselves, please email me at
I know -- it is easy to become disillusioned with politics. Too often, your representatives say they want to hear your opinion on the issues of the day, but make no commitment to honor it. But this is different. I am committing to let you, the residents of this district, allocate $1 million in capital funding to the projects that you think are most important. If we work together, I really believe that this process will not only lead to great projects, but toward a renewal of local democracy in our community.
At stake is $1 million in capital funding (the part of the budget that is used to repair streets, improve parks, buy school technology, or build bike lanes). 
Keep an eye on for updates on the participatory budgeting process. Remember, just like democracy, it only works if you participate.
The process will make budgeting more transparent and accessible. It will open up participation to people who have never been involved before. And it will make budgeting more effective, because who knows better what is needed in our communities than you.
Participatory Budgeting Neighborhood Assembly
October 20th, 6:30 PM PS 58, at Smith Street and Carroll Street
RSVP here (Childcare available)

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