By Fern E. Gillespie
Do you have an idea about making your community better? The People’s Money, New York City’s first-ever citywide participatory budgeting process, is asking New Yorkers aged 11 and up how to spend $5 million of mayoral expense funding to address their community’s needs.
“Through a robust and inclusive engagement process, over 220 groups, entities, and community-based organizations submitted proposals to host idea generation sessions. We are pleased to announce that 82 partners were selected to host these in-person and virtual sessions where New Yorkers will be invited to brainstorm ideas for creative projects,” stated Dr. Sarah Sayeed, Chair and Executive Director, NYC Civic Engagement Commission. “Later in the process, these ideas will be developed into ballot proposals for New Yorkers to vote on. Community partners will then implement winning projects starting in July of 2023.”
The Week of Action starts on September 19 with the NYC Civic Engagement Commission and the 82 partner organizations opening their doors to host idea generation sessions. All New Yorkers are invited to attend sessions in their borough. Events for all boroughs will be placed on the CEC website.
In Brooklyn, the People’s Money community partners are Life of Hope, Riseboro, Bridge Street Development, Brooklyn Level Up, Ebony’s Mindful Moves, Eleven3Seven5, El Puente De Williamsburg and Brooklyn NAACP.
For the Brooklyn NAACP, the grant is for idea generation from the Canarsie community and also voter education and outreach. “At the West Indian Labor Day Parade, the Brooklyn NAACP Branch had a float down Eastern Parkway and was giving out palm cards that had information on where you can register to vote, check your registration status and key dates for the upcoming November 8 election,” Robyn Liverpool, Second Vice President of the Brooklyn NAACP, told Our Time Press.
At the Canarsie Library on October 6 at 6:00PM, the Brooklyn NAACP will have an idea generation workshop. “We will give out some prompts and see what they want in Canarsie,” she said. “A popular project across Brooklyn is community gardening. This is because some communities have food deserts and don’t think that the produce at their particular local supermarket is fresh. Some people like to meditate in gardens. We live in a somewhat concrete jungle and gardening is a popular project for the greenery, for the aesthetic appeal and for producing fresh tomatoes and vegetables for the community.”
The People’s Money builds on the foundation laid by the Civic Engagement Commission’s 2021 local process, which engaged residents of the 33 neighborhoods hardest hit by COVID-19 in a $1.3 million participatory budgeting process.
New Yorkers will also be able to submit ideas and find further idea generation sessions via the CEC’s online platform: participate.nyc.gov – this site will be home to all relevant information through each phase of this process.