CROWN HEIGHTS – City Council Majority Leader Laurie Cumbo paid a visit to a Crown Heights high school to announce the winning projects from Participatory Budgeting Cycle 7 in her 35th District, unveiling the results and presenting oversized checks at Medgar Evers Prep on Tuesday, May 22.
In a statement championing an “unprecedented” 63% increase in votes cast over last year’s cycle of budgeting, Councilmember Cumbo wrote that participatory budgeting is “an incredible opportunity to engage and empower people of all backgrounds to collectively decide how we can spend $1 million to fund capital projects that will strengthen our community.”
The winning projects were:Technology Upgrade at Medgar Evers College Preparatory School – $250,000
Funding for 8 classroom sets and 35 smart boards which would “provide students with the necessary technology tools for a better education”Building Safety for P.S. 20/Academy of Arts & Letters – $250,000
School construction upgrades including water filtration, AC/heating, doors, gym safety padding, and plumbing “to create a safer environment”Electric Upgrade for Clinton Hill Library – $150,000
Electrical upgrades that would “improve space efficiency for the use of technology” at the Clinton Hill LibraryTechnology Upgrade for Ebbets Field Middle School – $175,000
Funding for 160 new laptops to “replace outdated ones, and serve growing population of students”Refurbish P.S. 9’s Auditorium – $250,000
Installing new lighting, sound system, paint job, curtains, chairs and stage floor in the auditorium.
Five of the seven proposed projects received funding from voters, who were less enthused by upgrading the auditoriums at either M.S. 113 or P.S. 705. Maybe next cycle…
The projects were selected based on the votes of 4,478 constituents in District 35. Of course, at the last census, roughly 86,000 people were eligible to vote on participatory budgeting in District 35, which means even though turnout was up, something around 5% of the eligible voters actually bothered.
With $1,000,000 of funding on the line for each district, each vote in District 35 was essentially worth $223. Not bad for spending a little of your day all the polls!