NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – There is a new effort to give New York City residents a louder voice in how the city should spend some of their tax dollars.
WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb On The Story
Council member Brad Lander of Brooklyn explains, “City council members get discretionary member item capital to allocate to projects in our district – school auditoriums, playground upgrades, lights at the subway.”
Each member gets $1 million.
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Until now, which projects got the thumbs up were decided by the council person alone.
“What we’ll be doing here is inviting constituents to have a direct say in how that money gets allocated,” Lander told WCBS 880 reporter Rich Lamb.
It’s an experiment in participatory budgeting.
Constituent project ideas from four districts collected this fall and winter will be voted on next spring and the top vote-getters will be proposed in the budget.
“For us, it’s really a way of engaging the community, and empowering the community, and giving them an opportunity to directly decide how their tax money is going to be spent,” said council member Jumaane Williams of Brooklyn.
Democrats Lander and Williams are joined in this venture by Democrat Melissa Mark-Viverito of Manhattan and Republican Eric Ulrich of Queens.
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