Western Brooklyn

Technology In Schools, Street Repairs & More Win Southwest Brooklyn Participatory Budgeting Vote

Courtesy of Councilman Treyger's Office
Courtesy of Councilman Mark Treyger’s Office

The votes are in!

According to the results of City Council’s progressive Participatory Budgeting [PB] initiative in Districts 47, 38, and 44, the people of southwest Brooklyn want technology upgrades in schools, street repairs, library and park improvements, and a lot more trees.

PB allows residents to decide how to spend $1 million in city funds on projects to improve their block or community. Over the last few months, Council Members Mark Treyger, David Greenfield and Carlos Menchaca met with constituents who suggested numerous projects, which were then reviewed and vetted by a panel of volunteers for inclusion on the final ballot.

Now that the ballots have been counted, we’ve rounded up the winning projects here so that you can get an idea of the changes that you can expect to see in your neighborhood in the near future.

Councilman Mark Treyger – District 47

Courtesy of Councilman Mark Treyger's Office
Courtesy of Councilman Mark Treyger’s Office

Thought this was the first year District 47 participated in the PB initiative, there was a nice turnout at planning meetings, and many community members came out to weigh in on proposed projects. Last month, nearly 1,000 residents from across Councilman Mark Treyger’s district voted for their favorite projects.

“It was great to see so many of our neighbors attend meetings and suggest ideas to improve their community, and to have hundreds of residents cast their vote and take part in this initiative. I am looking forward to the winning projects moving forward, and to launching next year’s Participatory Budgeting effort in the coming months,” said Treyger.

Here are the three winning projects for District 47:

  • Technology For Schools ($225,000) — As a result of the residents’ votes, three local schools – P.S. 128, P.S. 101 and P.S/I.S. 228 will receive technology upgrades.
  • Street Repairs ($400,000) — The streets in the area of Community Board 13 (which includes Gravesend and Coney Island) will be repaired.
  • Bus Stop Renovations ($500,000) — The bus stop outside Coney Island Hospital at Ocean Parkway and Avenue Z will be improved and reconfigured.

Councilman David Greenfield – District 44

Source: Councilman Greenfield's Office
Courtesy of Councilman David Greenfield’s Office

Councilman David Greenfield’s district pulled a considerable number of votes too. 2,256 residents took part in this year’s PB cycle — making this year the highest voter turnout ever in Greenfield’s three annual cycles of PB.

The four winning projects for District 44 are:

  • Street Repairs and Resurfacing ($200,000) — Street repairs for the 44th Council District,
  • Digital Bus Signs for B11 and B6 ($200,000) — The signs would let riders know when the next bus is coming.
  • Beautify Boro Park Initiative ($170,000) — 100 new trees will be planted in Borough Park.

Councilman Carlos Menchaca – District 38

Source: Councilman Carlos Menchaca's Office
Source: Councilman Carlos Menchaca’s Office

Councilman Carlos Menchaca has allocated over $2 million, nearly 50 percent of his discretionary capital budget, for PB this year. His district saw the highest participation of all participating districts, pulling in almost 6,300 votes — nearly two-thirds of which were cast in non-English languages: Spanish or Chinese.

Menchaca’s success at empowering disenfranchised communities through the initiative has garnered write-ups in The New York Times, DNAInfo, and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.

The five winning projects for District 38 are:

  • Technology for Schools ($965,000)  Improving access to technology for nine neighborhood schools that serve diverse communities: P.S.1, M.S. 88, P.S. 676, P.S. 105, P.S. 310, P.S. 69 and New Voices Middle School.
  • P.S. 503/P.S. 506 Playground Lighting ($400,000) — Install proper lighting to illuminate the school yards on weekdays and weekends.
  • Expansion of Exit Doors at P.S. 169 ($75,000)The door expansion on the 44th Street and 7th Avenue entrance will improve safety as students enter and leave the school and improve efficiency in a school with over 1,600 students.
  • Bathroom Renovations ($400,000) — The full renovation of the early childhood bathrooms at P.S.15 and full renovations of all student and staff bathrooms at P.S. 94 to maintain hygiene of the schools.
  • Outdoor FitnessEquipment for SP Park ($500,000) — To have fitness equipment outside of the Sunset Recreational Center to promote fitness and appeal to people of all fitness levels.
  • Red Hook Library Multimedia Room ($50,000) — Installing a smart board and projector, computers, surround sound speakers, and audio recording equipment in Red Hook Library, to provide more resources for better productivity.