NYC Council Participatory Budgeting Voting is Here! Vote Where Your Tax Dollars Should Go!

Residents of New York City Council District 17 in The Bronx had their first experience with participatory budgeting as Councilman Rafael Salamanca Jr, brought PB to the district for the first time.

Participatory Budgeting has increased from just 3 New York City Council Districts in The Bronx that participated in last year’s 2015-2016 cycle out of 9 districts in the borough to five this year!

Simply put, Participatory Budgeting is one of the most democratic activities our city has to offer by allowing residents of participating districts to vote on which eligible projects should receive funding via your tax dollars and best of all—our youth can vote as voting age is 14 and above!

According to New York City Council’s website:

Participatory Budgeting is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget. It’s grassroots democracy at its best. It helps make budget decisions clear and accessible. It gives real power to people who have never before been involved in the political process. And it results in better budget decisions—because who better knows the needs of our community than the people who live there?


Council Members choose to join Participatory Budgeting New York City (PBNYC), giving at least $1 million from their budget for the whole community to participate in decision-making. It’s a yearlong process of public meetings, to ensure that people have the time and resources to make informed decisions. Community members discuss local needs and develop proposals to meet these needs. Through a public vote, residents then decide which proposals to fund.

This year, you can vote for as many as five of your favorite PBNYC project proposals on your district ballot. Each participating Council Member guarantees funding for the projects that receive the most votes, until their PB funding runs out.

If you live in the following neighborhoods and districts, you can vote online or in person on dozens of projects from now through April 2nd:

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From reconstruction of two clay tennis courts in Van Cortlandt Park, Decorative Street Lighting along Webster Avenue between McClean and E 233rd Street to installation of air conditioning at the landmark Mott Haven Library and installation of lighting at Alfred E Smith High School athletic field to extend use to public into evening hours, these are just some of the dozens of items you can vote on.

Also of note is that you’re not just limited to 1 project in your district but you can choose up to 5 ensuring that the money gets split between multiple items.

So what are you waiting for, spread the word with your friends, family, neighbors and VOTE!

Learn more about Participatory Budgeting:

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.