Results for Councilmember Steve Levin’s second annual participatory budget effort were announced Wednesday, with two high priority projects in North Brooklyn – repairs to the McGolrick Park Playground and the launch of the BOOKlyn Shuttle –among the five proposals that were fully funded this year.
Over $1.5 million was awarded to the five winning proposals, following the voting process, which took place March 30 through April 6.
Councilmembers participating in participatory budgeting commit to distribute a minimum of $1 million from their discretionary funds for projects voted on by constituents. They can choose to award the funds entirely to one project or distribute it among several. Much like last year, Levin decided to distribute it among the top five.
The highest vote-getter: repairs to four NYCHA playgrounds across the district received 1,008 votes, and was awarded the full $400,000 requested.
“I’m so overjoyed that all our hard work has paid off,” said Jo Ann Brown, the vice president of the tenants association at the Warren Street Houses, one of the NYCHA developments where the playground will undergo repairs. “To win first place is really outstanding and you can’t imagine how much this will help out so many unfortunate families.”
North Brooklyn proposals might not have finished first, but there was plenty to cheer about nonetheless.
Long-awaited repairs to the McGolrick Park Playground were finally green-lighted – the Park was awarded $450,000 for the repairs, and placed third among winning projects with 649 votes.
“We’re extremely pleased that our park got funded and that so many people supported the playground,” said Ingrid Bromberg Kennedy, a member of the McGolrick Park Neighborhood Alliance, which has long-advocated for the repair and maintenance of the Park.
Another North Brooklyn project, St. Nick’s Alliance’s proposal for a mobile educational van – the BOOKlyn Shuttle project, placed fourth among proposals with 626 votes and was awarded $198,000.
A total of 15 proposals were on the ballot for District 33 residents to vote on this year, and 1,925 people turned out to vote, a slight decrease from last year, which organizers attributed to the redistricting of District 33, and the fact that the first year’s excitement always tends to bring in more crowds.
“This is an inspiring thing we do here,” said Levin. “It has revolutionized the way we look at city government, and it has changed people’s outlook on what the government can mean for people.”