District 18 kicks off City Council participatory budgeting for the first time

Fifteen City Council districts, including the 18th District, are taking part in participatory budgeting in this year’s budgetary cycle.
File photo

This week, constituents of the City Council’s 18th District in the Bronx — one of 15 council districts citywide — have the opportunity to decide how roughly $1 million in city funds are spent, for the first time.

The neighborhoods of Clason Point, Castle Hill, Soundview, Parkchester and Unionport are being asked to vote on proposals previously put forward by residents of the 18th District — known as participatory budgeting. The unique legislative process has been around New York City since 2011 and allows residents of a participating district the ability to vote on which proposed infrastructure projects the district should fund.

With each budget cycle, all 51 members of the New York City Council get $5 million in capital funds each year to use at their discretion toward projects with a public purpose that cost at least $50,000 and have a lifespan of at least 5 years.

Residents submit ideas that are then vetted by city agencies and given a price tag, before voting on the proposed projects in early April, in time for the city’s May-June budget process.

Fifteen members of the City Council took part in this budget cycle’s participatory budgeting — four of those elected officials represent Bronx districts. New councilmembers Amanda Farías (District 18), Marjorie Velázquez (District 13), Pierina Sanchez (District 14), all who took office earlier this year, and Councilmember Kevin Riley (District 12) opted in.

Through Saturday, April 9, constituents of the 18th District have the ability to vote in-person at several voting locations throughout the district. If you’re unable to make it to one of the voting locations, you can fill out an online ballot. Some of the items up for vote are new resources for schools and park beautification, according to Farías’ office.

The criteria for voting is that you must be age 11 and older, a resident or stakeholder in the district, and you can only vote once.

For more information regarding voting locations, call 718-792–1140 or email councildistrict18@gmail.com.

District 18 voting locations

Tuesday: Sotomayor Community Center, 3 p.m.-5 p.m.; Clason Point Park, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.

Wednesday: Starling Avenue, 5 p.m.-6 p.m.; Sotomayor Community Center, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.

Thursday: Clason Point Park, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.; Parkchester Library, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.

Friday: Parkchester Library, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.; Clason Point Park, 6 p.m.-7 p.m.

Saturday: Metropolitan Oval, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.; Clason Point Park, 11 a.m.-12 p.m.; Castle Hill Library, 12 p.m.-2 p.m.; Parkchester Library, 1 p.m.-2 p.m.

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