For the second consecutive year, residents of Woodhaven will take part in a process to decide how to spend $1 million. Read the following – email the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association at email@example.com, or call them at 718-296-3735.
What Is Participatory Budgeting? Councilman Eric Ulrich has committed 1 million dollars to this project – residents in Eric’s district brainstorm and put together a ballot of projects to be voted upon. Residents will then vote on the items – and all items up to a millions dollars will be completed.
Why does any of this concern the parents of students who attend PS 97 and PS 306?
Because one of the items on the ballot is for Technology Upgrades – $75,000 each for PS 97 Forest Park and PS 306 New York City Academy for Discovery (Woodhaven).
You will be allowed to select up to five items from the ballot. Voting will take place for most of the month of April, and we will have several voting areas within Woodhaven. The complete ballot will be reviewed as part of the next meeting of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, which takes place on Saturday, March 21, at noon at American Legion Post 118, 89-02 91st Street. As a side note, the new Captain of the 102 Precinct, Deodat Urprasad, will attend the meeting and introduce himself to the Woodhaven community – everyone is welcome to attend – it’s free – come and meet your neighbors.
We need to get enough people to come out to vote and secure this money for our local schools. We will work with each school to pass along the information – or you can sign up for regular email updates from the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org (put “Grapevine” in the subject). Click here for samples of our community emails.
In order to vote – you need to be 14 years of age or older, and live in District 32. As Woodhaven is split across 2 districts, that means not everyone can vote — to find out if you can vote, click here and enter your address. If it says District 32, you can vote.
The Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association does not want anyone left out of the process — so even if you are not District 32, let us know (you can even fill out a ballot) and we will pass along your intention to your city council member.
Voting days and locations will be announced soon.
Apart from Technology Upgrades, here are the other items up for your consideration:
2) Construction – $300,000 worth of auditorium renovations for PS 64 Joseph P. Addabbo (Ozone Park).
3) Parks – A $250,000 renovation of a 9/11 Memorial in Forest Park. This may include some sort of mural along with landscaping, pavers and benches.
4) Parks – The addition of Emergency Call Boxes throughout Forest Park to improve safety. Technically, this would go through the NYPD as they would decide the best places in Forest Park to place them. They cost $7,000 each and we would be getting 20 of them (for a total of $140,000).
5) Parks – Improvements to Equity Park. Across from the American Legion there is a large empty space that used to be a tennis court. It is proposed to convert that into a nice park with benches, trees, bocce ball courts, etc. Total cost for this project is estimated at $800,000 – but for this year, we are only able to vote for $400,000 meaning that it will need to come back next year for the rest.
6) Parks – Refurbishment of Lt. Clinton L. Whiting Square at 91st Avenue and 84th Street. This would include $240,000 worth of improvements – landscaping and benches – for the World War 1 memorial.
7) Parks – $175,000 worth of upgrades (new fencing and benches) to the Forest Park Dog Run at 85th Street and Park Lane South.
8) Libraries – $100,000 each for technology and security upgrades for Ozone Park and Richmond Hill.
Participatory Budgeting only works if people participate ,so we will make sure that every resident has ample opportunity to vote. Start thinking about it now. Review the eight items above and decide which five should get your vote.
The ballot this year is weighted heavily towards parks project, Woodhaven in particular. That can be credited to the large amount of involvement from our community.