Four New York City Council Members To Let You Decide How Money Is Spent

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.

Do you like this idea? Do you think it should be done in each district? Sound off below!

More from Rich Lamb
  • NYC 2011

    My voice on how the city should spend some of our tax dollars. Let’s invest in on our future, the children, let’s provide a better public schools that are less crowded. I adore teachers who can hold a classroom together, but they need help. Give them additional support by giving them fewer students to work with, the benefits will affect New Yorkers, how hard is it to understand that many of the future decisions these children do, will be the ones we as the elderly will have to live with.

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