The results are in for Participatory Budgeting in City Council District 28, which is represented by City Councilwoman Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica).
For the first time, residents in Jamaica, Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village and South Ozone Park got to choose how $1,353,000 in public funds was spent in their neighborhoods.
Approximately, 20 possible line items were narrowed down to seven projects in District 28, according to Adams’ office.
“As the representative of diverse communities, I have seen Participatory Budgeting provide a path to civic engagement for people who are often excluded from the decision-making processes,” said Adams on May 3. “Having power to create proposals and put them on a ballot for a public vote is a powerful tool to bring neighbors together, to bring more transparency to our public funding and to make sure that decisions are in the interest of a broad set of community members.”
PS 48, PS 55, PS 161, MS 72 and MS 332 will receive $175,000 to bring their schools to the 21st Century within technology upgrades, according to Adams’ office. PS 40, PS 45, PS 55 and PS 80 will receive $400,000 for some much need bathroom renovations.
Kids at JHS 226 and PS 55 will be able to better quench their thirst with $48,000 in funds for water fountains, according to Adams’ office. The student lounge at Richmond Hill High School will become a go-to-spot after $200,000 in renovations.
Commuters will get some accurate bus times with five real-time rider information posts at bus stops in District 28 that cost $200,000, according to Adams’ office.
Baisley Library and Rochdale Library will receive $160,000 in technology upgrades, according to Adams’ office. The technology upgrades at Lefferts Library and South Ozone Park Library will be $200,000.
Participants were able to vote up to five times on paper ballots and online for the items they most wanted to see funded from March 30th to April 7th, according to the City Council. Citizens as young as 11-years-old were able to participate in the process.
English-language proficiency and citizenship status did not prevent those who wanted to participate from voting, according to Adams’ office. The only proof a voter needed to select a Participatory Budgeting project was evidence of residency within the district.
“I’m proud to offer District 28 residents the opportunity to decide what they would like to see funded by their own tax dollars through the Participatory Budgeting process. This brings government closer to the people, where it ought to be,” Adams said for the inaugural year.